UK's May names new foreign secretary

Jeremy Hunt has been appointed foreign secretary, replacing Boris Johnson following his resignation.

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves No. 10 Downing Street after accepting the position of foreign secretary following the resignation of Boris Johnson on July 9 in London.

The new Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs had supported the campaign to stay in the European Union during the 2016 vote and had backed a second referendum on the terms of the deal.

Johnson, another loud pro-Brexit voice within May's divided government, slammed May in a resignation letter, accusing her of flying "white flags" of surrender in negotiations with the EU.

We have postponed crucial decisions - including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November - with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the European Union system, but with no United Kingdom control over that system.

The Foreign Secretary quit his role in government hours after Mr Davis stood down as Brexit Secretary.

Under Conservative Party rules, a confidence vote in a leader can be triggered if 48 lawmakers from May's Conservative Party request one.

She added with a hint of irony: "In the two years since the referendum, we have had a spirited national debate, with robust views echoing around the cabinet table as they have on breakfast tables up and down the country". We have a crisis in Government, two secretaries of state have resigned and still we are no clearer on what the future relationship with our nearest neighbours and biggest partners will look like.

"Over that time, I've listened to every possible idea and every possible version of Brexit".

Speaking tonight, Mr Hunt said he would be supporting Mrs May in her efforts to secure a Brexit deal with Brussels.

David Davis quit as Brexit Secretary on Sunday.

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.

Mr Johnson had yet to appear, 20 minutes after news of his resignation was announced. Many Brexit campaigners in her Conservative Party say she has betrayed her promise to pursue a clean break with the EU.

If she refuses to change course, she could face a leadership challenge.

The EU has been keen to focus minds in Britain.