Boris Johnson has promised the “beginning of a new golden age”, as he made his first Commons statement as PM.
Speaking to MPs, Mr Johnson said his government would throw itself into Brexit negotiations with energy.
He said Michael Gove would make planning for a no-deal Brexit a “top priority”, and EU citizens living in the UK would have their rights protected.
The statement came after the first meeting of Mr Johnson’s new cabinet, who he said had all committed to leaving the EU on or before 31 October, “no ifs, no buts”.
New secretaries of state include former leadership contender Sajid Javid as Chancellor, and leading Brexiteers Dominic Raab, as foreign secretary, and Priti Patel, as home secretary.
More junior ministers are expected to be announced later, with further reshuffling on Friday.
What did the PM say in his statement?
Much of Mr Johnson’s statement focused on his plans for Brexit.
Despite emphasising the importance of preparing for no deal, the new prime minister said he would “much prefer” to leave the EU with an agreement, saying he would work “flat out to make it happen”.
However, he told MPs the withdrawal agreement his predecessor, Theresa May, had negotiated with the EU was “unacceptable to this Parliament and to this country”.
That plan was voted down three times by MPs, with one of the controversial parts being the Northern Ireland backstop – a mechanism to avoid physical checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in case of a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Johnson has pledged to scrap this element of the plan, saying alternative arrangements to keep checks away from the border were “perfectly compatible” with the Good Friday Agreement – the peace agreement signed in 1998.But the Labour leader said the country was “deeply worried the new prime minister overestimates himself”.
What did Mr Johnson tell Cabinet?
After a raft of resignations, sackings and appointments on Wednesday night, Mr Johnson addressed his cabinet for the first time as prime minister early on Thursday.
He told the cabinet they had “a momentous task ahead”, as he repeated his commitment for the UK to leave the EU on 31 October – calling it “a pivotal moment in our country’s history”.
He said the new team respected the “depth and breadth of talent in our extraordinary party”, who were “not going to wait until 31 October to get on with a fantastic new agenda for our country… delivering the priorities of the people.”
Who is in Cabinet?
The swift changeover of cabinets between the previous premiership and Mr Johnson’s saw more than half of Theresa May’s ministers – including leadership rival Jeremy Hunt – quit or be sacked.
Former Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt said he had been offered an alternative role but had turned it down, while leading Brexiteers Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox were also replaced as defence secretary and international trade secretary respectively.
Other key appointments included:
- Stephen Barclay: Brexit secretary (retains post)
- Michael Gove: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and no-deal Brexit planning
- Ben Wallace: Defence secretary
- Liz Truss: International trade secretary
- Matt Hancock: Health secretary (retains post)
- Gavin Williamson: Education secretary
- Nicky Morgan: Culture secretary
- Andrea Leadsom: Business secretary
- Amber Rudd: Work and pensions secretary (retains post)
- Jacob Rees-Mogg: Leader of the Commons