Veteran Tory politician William Hague has stood down as British foreign secretary to focus on forth coming geneal election 2015 May.
Mr Hague is to leave Parliament at the 2015 general election after 26 years as MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire, BBC reported. As part of a significant ministerial reshuffle, veteran Conservative MP Ken Clarke has also stepped down.
Senior ministers have told the BBC that the current defence secretary, Philip Hammond, will replace Mr Hague. In other moves, David Jones has been sacked as Welsh Secretary, having been in the cabinet post for two years.
Prime Minister David Cameron in a statement said: “William Hague has been one of the leading lights of the Conservative Party for a generation, leading the party and serving in two cabinets. Not only has he been a first class foreign secretary – he has also been a close confidante, a wise counsellor and a great friend. He will remain as First Secretary of State and my de facto political deputy in the run up to the election – and it is great to know that he will be a core part of the team working to ensure an outright Conservative victory.”
Mr Hague said: “I am delighted to be able to serve as Leader of the House of Commons, and to be able to campaign for Conservative candidates across the country. I want to finish in frontline politics as I began – speaking in Parliament and campaigning among the voters. After the general election I will return to my writing, while still giving very active support to the Conservative Party and campaigning on international causes I believe in.”
The prime minister is understood to have held a series of meetings in his House of Commons office earlier with ministers.
Mr Cameron is expected to use the reshuffle to promote more women within ministerial ranks – but replacements for the outgoing ministers have not yet been announced. Tuesday’s scheduled cabinet meeting has been cancelled amid suggestions that the prime minister will then reveal who will be joining his top team.