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As Johnson Becomes PM, Outgoing PM Offers No Praise

Meanwhile, some fear new prime minister will 'sell out' to Trump
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2019 10:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Theresa May entered Buckingham Palace as prime minister Wednesday before exiting as only a lawmaker. Queen Elizabeth II has seen this production before. The monarch has already had 13 people form a government for her since she took up her post in 1952. Boris Johnson will be the 14th prime minister of her reign following May's request that the monarch invite the fellow Conservative to form a new government, per the AP. More on the British power handover:

  • It marks May as one of Britain's shortest-serving prime ministers in the last 100 years. Her premiership has lasted 1,106 days—enough to outrun just six of the 22 people to have been prime minister since the start of the last century, per the AP.
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday "condemned May for overseeing increases in poverty, crime, [health service] waiting lists, school class sizes, food-bank use, and homelessness" during what's believed to be the longest-ever Prime Minister's Question Time, per the Guardian. May defended her record and, to cheers, suggested Corbyn should resign.

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  • May offered "warm congratulations to Boris on winning the Conservative leadership election." However, she offered no praise of her former foreign secretary under questioning, even as lawmakers painted him as a "reckless" usurper ready to "sell our country out to Donald Trump and his friends," per the Washington Post.
  • "Much remains to be done—the immediate priority being to complete our exit from the European Union in a way that works for the whole United Kingdom," May said before departing 10 Downing Street. The Guardian reports some will view that as "a coded message to her successor," a staunch Brexit supporter.
  • Johnson, who has 99 days to secure a Brexit deal, visited with the queen shortly after May left Buckingham Palace. He'll later set up shop at No. 10, where he's expected to give an afternoon speech, with announcements on some Cabinet positions to follow.
  • He'd better like cats. The official Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, a 12-year-old tabby cat named Larry, remains behind at No. 10. Adopted from an animal shelter by former Prime Minister David Cameron, the cat is "known for catfights with Palmerston, the chief mouser at the nearby Foreign Office," per the AP, which quips, "some in government just never get along."
(Read more United Kingdom stories.)

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