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PM Johnson sacks Jeremy Hunt as foreign secretary, several ministers resign

File photo of Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson. Photograph:( Agencies )

Agencies World Jul 24, 2019, 11.00 PM (IST)

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sacked foreign minister Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday, as he prepared to replace most of the cabinet.

Hunt, who had been Johnson's rival for the top job, tweeted that he was "kindly" offered another role but turned it down to become one of more than a dozen cabinet ministers heading out the door, some of them voluntarily.

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Britain's de facto deputy prime minister David Lidington also resigned from the government ahead of Boris Johnson being appointed prime minister.

"I wrote to @BorisJohnson yesterday to congratulate him on his election, to wish him well & to say I've decided that after 20 yrs on the front bench it's the right moment to move on," Lidington said on Twitter.

He joins the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, international development secretary Rory Stewart and justice minister David Gauke in resigning from the cabinet.

Meanwhile, Britain's defence secretary Penny Mordaunt too resigned. Mordaunt said she will not serve in new Prime Minister Boris Johnson's team of senior ministers.

"I'm heading to the backbenches from where the PM will have my full support," Mordaunt, a Brexit supporter who backed Johnson's opponent Jeremy Hunt in the leadership race, said on Twitter. She had also been serving as Women and Equalities minister.

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Britain's de facto deputy prime minister David Lidington also resigned from the government ahead of Boris Johnson being appointed prime minister.