British PM David Cameron reshuffles Cabinet ahead of General Elections next May
Britain`s William Hague announced his resignation as foreign secretary to become leader of the lower house of parliament on Monday, part of a reshuffle of the Conservative-led government.
Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
London: In the biggest Cabinet rejig since PM David Cameron took over as PM, William Hague has stepped down as Britain`s foreign secretary and Philip Hammond, who has been defence minister till now, has been appointed to the significant post.
Hague announced the move on Twitter, adding that he will not stand as an MP in the May 2015 General Election.
Tonight I am standing down as Foreign Secretary after 4 years to serve as Leader of the House of Commons
— William Hague (@WilliamJHague) July 14, 2014
A statement from Prime Minister David Cameron`s office called Hague as the most visible statesman on international crises and said that the diplomat will continue to stay in the Cabinet as the leader of the House of Commons, before quitting national politics next year.
Cameron said Hague would be "my de facto political deputy in the run-up to the election" in May 2015 and help lead the campaign for a Conservative majority in Parliament.
"After the general election I will return to my writing, while still giving very active support to the Conservative Party and campaigning on international causes I believe in," Hague said in a statement.
For many, the resignation of Hague has come as a surprise, more so as the diplomat would be wrapping up his political career at a mere age of 53.
Other than Hague, six other Cabinet ministers including Ken Clarke were sacked.
Hailing Mr Clarke as "a political Titan" for more than a generation, Cameron said, "His wise and trenchant views will be missed around the Cabinet table".
In a series of new appointments that he kept posting on his Twitter feed, Cameron appointed Jonathan Hill, the leader of parliament`s upper chamber the House of Lords, as Britain`s next EU Commissioner.
Lord Hill is to be my nomination for European Commissioner.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) July 15, 2014
Here are some of the new appointments in the British Cabinet:
Matt Hancock is the new Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy.
Jeremy Wright is the new Attorney General
Baroness Tina Stowell is the new Leader of the House of Lord and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Stephen Crabb is the new Secretary of State for Wales.
Greg Clark is Minister for Science and Universities and Minister of State at the Cabinet Office.
Esther McVey continues as Minister for Employment and Disabilities. She will now attend Cabinet.
Michael Fallon is the new Secretary of State for Defence.
Liz Truss is the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Michael Gove is Commons Chief Whip.
Philip Hammond is the new Foreign Secretary.
Nicky Morgan is the new Education Secretary and continues as Minister for Women and Equalities.
The rejig comes two months after Cameron`s Conservative had to bite dust in European elections held in Britain in May.
The major shakeup of the Conservative-led administration is being seen as PM Cameron`s final reshuffle ahead of next year`s General Elections.