Boris Johnson becomes UK Prime Minister

By Rob Picheta and Kara Fox, CNN

Updated 4:41 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019
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5:24 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

We're wrapping up our live coverage

Johnson waves from the steps of No. 10 Downing Street after giving a speech in London.
Johnson waves from the steps of No. 10 Downing Street after giving a speech in London.

As the sun sets on Boris Johnson's first day as Prime Minister, protests outside Downing Street have grown quiet and the whirlwind of firings and hirings has slowed.

Our live coverage has ended for the day, but you can scroll through the posts below to catch up, or read more here.

4:06 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

Newly named Foreign Secretary speaks on Iran and Brexit

In his first comments as Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab addressed both Brexit and Iran.

On Brexit:

The most important thing is to get out of the EU by the end of October, preferably with a deal. We retain the arm of friendship extended to our EU partners and allies. But in any event we must get some finality to this Brexit process.

On Iran:

I worked on Iranian issues back when I was here as a Foreign Office legal advisor between 2000-2006. It’s a very sensitive issue and I’m going to go and take full advice shortly.

Raab has inherited a mounting crisis with Iran. Last week, Tehran seized a British-flagged oil tanker, after authorities from the UK and Gibraltar had previously seized an Iranian tanker.

Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described Iran's action as "state piracy" and said the UK would take part in a Europe-led maritime protection mission in the Strait of Hormuz.

3:53 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

Ireland's Prime Minister says suggesting a new Brexit deal is 'not in the real world'

Ireland's Taoiseach, or prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said he wanted to hear Johnson put some "flesh on the bones" over claims he made in his speech outside Downing Street earlier today.

Speaking on state broadcaster RTÉ, Varadkar said the Irish Government is looking forward to working with Johnson on Brexit, bilateral relations and Northern Ireland -- but that confidence and enthusiasm were not a substitute for proper European policy.

One of the sticking points in the Brexit debate is that the UK's departure from the EU could mean the reintroduction of border posts on the frontier between Northern Ireland, which is in the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which is a EU member. Border infrastructure was often targeted by Irish nationalist paramilitaries during the "Troubles" -- the 40-year sectarian conflict in which more than 3,500 people died.

The current Brexit deal, as it stands, states that neither side can unilaterally leave the backstop, an insurance policy designed to avoid the hard border. The EU has repeatedly ruled out renegotiating the terms of the current withdrawal deal to revisit this agreement.

This has infuriated hard-line Brexiteers, who hate the idea that the EU would hold a power of veto over the UK on that issue, and worry that the UK will never "properly" leave the bloc. They want to be free of the EU customs union, in order to forge international trade deals without the hindrance of European regulations on issues like agriculture, fisheries, food standards and the environment.

"Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here," said Johnson on Wednesday, vowing to take "personal responsibility" for seeing Brexit through.

Varadkar, however, said that a new Brexit deal between Britain and the EU will not happen. "Listening to what he (Johnson) said today, I got the impression that he wasn't just talking about deleting the backstop, he was talking about a whole new deal, a better deal for Britain, that's not going to happen."

Varadkar added that the suggestion that a whole new Brexit deal could be negotiated in weeks or months was "not in the real world."

3:45 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

All the new Cabinet appointments so far

Dominic Raab has been appointed the new Foreign Secretary and the First Secretary of State, effectively making him Deputy Prime Minister. He replaces Jeremy Hunt.

Priti Patel is the new British Home Secretary. She replaces Sajid Javid.

Sajid Javid is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He replaces Phillip Hammond.

Stephen Barclay has been appointed the Brexit Secretary, retaining the role he had in Theresa May’s cabinet.

Ben Wallace is the new Secretary of State for Defense, replacing Penny Mordaun.  

Elizabeth Truss has been appointed International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade. She replaces Liam Fox.

Matt Hancock retains his post as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Michael Gove is the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, replacing David Liddington.

Theresa Villiers has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She replaces Michael Gove.

Gavin Williamson, is the new Secretary of State for Education. He replaces Damian Hinds.

Andrea Leadsom has been appointed Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister. She replaces Greg Clark.

2:24 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

Sajid Javid appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer

Sajid Javid has been appointed Britain's finance minister, known in the UK as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Jack Taylor/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Jack Taylor/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

In response to Javid's appointment, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who leads the opposition party's policy on finance, wrote on Twitter: "Javid has consistently called for more tax cuts for the banks and corporations. So from the outset it's clear that this is a government by the bankers and for the bankers."

1:53 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

A major Cabinet reshuffle

A number of cabinet members have been sacked or have resigned after Johnson's victory.

Here are the departures so far:

Jeremy Hunt, former Foreign Secretary

Penny Mordaunt, former Defense Secretary

Greg Clark, former Business Secretary

Liam Fox, former International Development Secretary

Philip Hammond, former Chancellor of the Exchequer

Damian Hinds, former Education Secretary

James Brokenshire, former Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary

Rory Stewart, former Secretary for International Development

Karen Bradley, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 

David Liddington, former Secretary of State for Justice

David Gauke, former UK Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor

The May-Johnson transition is the biggest reshuffling of Cabinet ministers to happen in more than a decade, according to an analysis of ministerial databases by the Institute for Government, a London-based independent think tank.

The Ministers' section of UK government's website currently reads: "This page is currently being updated."


1:44 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

The UK 'deserves better than Johnson's empty bluster,' says Jeremy Corbyn

In a statement responding to Johnson's speech, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said:

“After nine years of cuts to our schools, police and councils, the country deserves better than Boris Johnson’s empty bluster.

“The new Prime Minister’s priority is more tax giveaways for the richest and big businesses, not support for our public services.

“The Prime Minister has no plan for Brexit and is staking everything on a sweetheart trade deal with Donald Trump which would risk the takeover of our NHS by US corporations.

“A Labour government can stop Boris Johnson and bring an end to austerity, tackle the climate emergency and invest in our communities. We need a general election and a Labour government that works for the many, not the privileged few.”

1:17 p.m. ET, July 24, 2019

Jeremy Hunt has left his post as Foreign Secretary

Jeremy Hunt, who was defeated by Johnson in the Tory leadership race, will not continue in his role as Foreign Secretary.

He's also turned down a new ministerial post offered to him by Johnson.

Hunt tweeted: “I would have been honored to carry on my work at FCO but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team. BJ kindly offered me another role. But after 9 years in cabinet and over 300 cabinet meetings, now is the time to return to backbenches from where PM will have full support. “

He added that he's decided to now focus on the "biggest challenge of all - to be a GOOD DAD!"