May loyalist named UK's new foreign secretary

British Prime Minister Theresa May has named Jeremy Hunt to the job of foreign secretary after the resignation of Boris Johnson.

The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, quit on Monday, hours after the resignation late on Sunday night of the minister in charge of Brexit negotiations, David Davis.

Detailed talks were held between Number 10 and MPs on Saturday in a bid to reassure backbenchers over the Government's plans for Britain's future relationship with the European Union, while further meetings took place on Sunday and Monday lunchtime.

It has been yet another unusual day in 2018 politics, with Boris Johnson following David Davies to quit the cabinet in protest at Brexit plans.

The Foreign Secretary backed the proposals at Chequers despite claiming that defending the plans during the meeting was like "polishing a turd".

In her reply to Mr Johnson's letter of resignation, Mrs May said she was "sorry - and a little surprised" that he had chosen to leave following their "productive discussions" at Chequers.

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He said selling the policy would "stick in the throat" and he could not stand by waving "white flags" of surrender, meaning he had to quit.

May's office said in a terse statement that the prime minister had accepted Johnson's resignation.

Johnson reportedly was more blunt, describing the plan as a "turd".

In an apparent boost for the embattled PM, chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, is said to have confirmed at the meeting now he has not received the 48 letters from MPs that would trigger a no-confidence vote.

He wrote: "Brexit should be about opportunity and hope".

"That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt". They also argued that the proposals breach several of the "red lines" that the government had set out, including a commitment to leave the EU's tariff-free customs union.

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The former Mayor of London said May was leading the United Kingdom to a "semi-Brexit" with a strategy that would leave the country "with a status of a colony" within the European Union.

On Friday I acknowledged that my side of the argument were too few to prevail, and congratulated you on at least reaching a Cabinet decision on the way forward.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson said: "Theresa May's Government is in meltdown".

There is speculation that either Trade Secretary Liam Fox or Environment Secretary Michael Gove could be shifted to take Mr Johnson's role.

"I would be surprised if one [a leadership contest] is precipitated and if there is, I suspect she'd win it", he said.

If May is ousted, any MP is eligible to stand.

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