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Therese Coffey appointed UK work and pensions minister: PM's office

File photo of Theresa Coffey. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencies London, United Kingdom Sep 08, 2019, 02.36 PM (IST)

The government has appointed Therese Coffey as work and pensions minister, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said on Sunday.

Coffey replaces Amber Rudd, who resigned on Saturday in protest at Johnson's handling of the country's departure from the European Union.

Her resignation caps a miserable week for Johnson as he tries to steer his splintered country through its biggest political crisis since World War II.

Rudd was a moderate member of former prime minister Theresa May's government whose endorsement Johnson coveted during his successful UK leadership challenge in July.

But she said Saturday that she could no longer endorse Johnson's approach to negotiations with Brussels -- or handling of domestic politics.

"I have resigned from Cabinet and surrendered the Conservative Whip," Rudd tweeted.

Rudd said in her resignation letter that she felt uneasy about Johnson's commitment to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 even if the two sides fail to reach a negotiated deal.

The 56-year-old said she had once viewed Johnson's threat of a messy "no-deal" divorce as a useful negotiating tactic to take with Brussels.

Story highlights

Coffey replaces Amber Rudd, who resigned on Saturday in protest at Johnson's handling of the country's departure from the European Union.