Theresa May became Britain’s prime minister on Wednesday with the task of leading it out of the European Union, and quickly named leading ‘Brexit’ supporters including former London mayor Boris Johnson to key positions in her new government.
The former Conservative interior minister, 59, said after being appointed by Queen Elizabeth that she would champion social justice and carve out a bright new future for Britain after last month’s shock referendum vote to quit the EU.
“We will rise to the challenge. As we leave the European Union we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us,” she said outside 10 Downing Street, vacated hours earlier by David Cameron.
Cameron stepped down after Britons rejected his entreaties to stay in the EU, a decision that has set back European efforts to forge greater unity and created huge uncertainty in Britain and across the 28-nation bloc.
Her party prizes unionism, she said, and not just among England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, "but between all of our citizens, everyone, whoever we are and wherever we're from."
"David Cameron has led a one-nation government, and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead," she said.
May wasted no time getting to work, naming six Cabinet members shortly after taking the nation's helm. Among them were two of her chief rivals in her bid to head the Conservative Party: members of Parliament Boris Johnson and Liam Fox.