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Sunday, 17 November 2019

UPDATED: Foreign, finance ministers unchanged in new UK government

AFP , Friday 8 May 2015
Britain's Chancellor George Osborne smiles as he arrives in Downing Street in London, Friday, May 8, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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Finance Minister George Osborne and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will remain in their posts in Britain's new government, Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday, after his general election win.

In a show of continuity following Thursday's vote, Cameron said he would also keep Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Home Secretary Theresa May in their jobs.

The appointments come hours after Cameron re-entered Downing Street with a Conservative majority in the House of Commons, which allowed him to dispense with the coalition government of the last five years.

Osborne, who led the coalition's austerity programme, will stay as chancellor of the exchequer to guide through a second wave of cuts. He has also been promoted to first secretary of state, effectively Cameron's number two.

Hammond, appointed to his job last July, will stay on as Britain faces delicate negotiations with European Union partners ahead of a referendum on its membership that Cameron has promised by 2017.

Fallon, who took over the defence brief from Hammond in a reshuffle last year, remains at the head of a ministry that has implemented sharp cuts to the military budget.

The Ministry of Defence is also set to conduct a crucial review of Britain's defence posture later this year.

May's re-appointment as interior minister -- a job she has held for the past five years and which includes responsibility for the sensitive issue of immigration -- completes the four senior offices of state.

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