UK's May removes another Cameron supporter as minister

AP News
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Posted: Jul 16, 2016 12:59 PM
UK's May removes another Cameron supporter as minister

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May has made more changes to the government, removing another key supporter of predecessor David Cameron and appointing several new ministers.

Downing Street said on Saturday that arts minister Ed Vaizey, a friend of Cameron, had left the government. Ros Altmann, Cameron's minister for pensions, was also dismissed, along with business minister Anna Soubry, a leading voice on the "remain" side during Britain's recent European Union referendum campaign.

May also backed staying in the EU but has appointed both "leave" and "remain" supporters to her Conservative government.

She has removed several veterans of the Cameron years, as well as rivals including Michael Gove, who ran against her for the party leadership after betraying his erstwhile ally Boris Johnson — whom May made foreign secretary. On Saturday she removed Gove supporter Dominic Raab from his job as a justice minister.

Some members of the old administration remain, including Jo Johnson — brother of Boris — who keeps his role in charge of universities and science.

May took power Wednesday after Cameron resigned following Britain's vote to leave the EU.

The new prime minister has made dramatic changes, placing leading proponents of a British exit from the EU in charge of foreign affairs, international trade and EU negotiations.

All the same, May has signaled she's in no rush to start exit talks. She said Friday she would not launch formal negotiations until there is a "UK approach" involving Scotland, which strongly backed remaining in the bloc.

The pro-independence Scottish administration has said it could seek a new independence referendum if Britain takes Scotland out of the EU against its will.

May has indicated she will not invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty, which will trigger a two-year countdown to leave the 28-nation bloc, before the end of the year. Some EU leaders and British euroskeptics are pressuring her to begin the process earlier.