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William Hague quits as British foreign secretary in deep Cabinet reshuffle

Published on Jul 15, 2014 9:36 AM

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's William Hague announced his surprise resignation as foreign secretary on Monday, in a deep shake-up of the Conservative-led government 10 months from a general election.

"I am standing down as Foreign Secretary after four years to serve as Leader of the House of Commons," Hague, a former leader of the Conservative Party, wrote on Twitter, saying he would stand down as a member of parliament at the May 2015 election.

The reshuffle, much wider than expected, ousted roughly a dozen from the cabinet and drew the battle lines for the next year's general election, purging the government of several veterans and reflecting a shift to the right in the Conservative Party.

The move is expected to make way for younger politicians and more women, chosen to reflect the priorities of Prime Minister David Cameron's re-election campaign as he responds to the ascent of the anti-EU UK Independence Party.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi in this May 8, 2014 file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
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