MOSCOW, July 15 (RIA Novosti) – UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday he had appointed Philip Hammond, who previously served as the defense secretary, to the post of foreign secretary, as part of a Cabinet shakeup ahead of next year’s general election.
“Philip Hammond is the new foreign secretary," Cameron posted on his official Twitter page.
Philip Hammond was appointed foreign secretary after a surprise resignation of William Hague, who will become the leader of the House of Commons.
Hammond, a Conservative Party politician, has served as defense secretary since October 2011.
He is considered to be the Cabinet’s major Eurosceptic, as had he stated last year he would vote to exit the EU unless fundamental powers are returned to the UK.
Matt Hancock will be the new minister of state for business, enterprise and energy instead of Michael Fallon, who was appointed as secretary of state for defense.
Other moves in reshaping Cameron’s government include replacing Michael Gove with Nicky Morgan as education secretary and Owen Paterson and Liz Truss as environment secretary, as the UK prime minister aims to promote more women to the Cabinet.
The United Kingdom general election is to be held in May 2015.
In January 2013, David Cameron promised a referendum on British membership of the European Union if the Conservative Party wins a majority at the 2015 general election.
Membership in the EU has long been a controversial issue in the United Kingdom. Eurosceptics believe the UK would be better off outside the bloc.