Britain's Jeremy Hunt quits government after leadership rival Boris Johnson takes office

Jeremy Hunt arrives at the Houses of Parliament in London, July 24, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday (July 24) he was quitting the government after new prime minister and recent leadership rival Boris Johnson asked him to take a different ministerial role.

"I would have been honoured to carry on my work at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team," Hunt said.

"Now is the time to return to backbenches from where PM will have my full support," Hunt wrote on Twitter.

A series of ministers from Theresa May's government have quit or been sacked since Johnson took office earlier on Wednesday vowing to leave the European Union on Oct 31 regardless of whether he can reach any exit deal.

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