British premier Johnson welcomes new cabinet

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson greeted his new cabinet of senior ministers on Friday, vowing to repay the trust of voters by improving infrastructure, cutting crime and building more hospitals.
“It’s great to see you all here and congratulations to you all on achieving, or indeed retaining, the great offices of state that you hold,” Johnson told cabinet before posing for photographs.
“We have to repay the trust of people who voted for us in huge numbers,” he said.
Meanwhile, preparations for Britain’s next budget continue at pace and the government will have a clear fiscal framework, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday when asked whether the budget would still be unveiled on March 11. “We will continue to have a clear fiscal framework and… that is confirmed at budget,” the spokesman told reporters. “Preparations for the budget continue at pace.”
Doubts were raised over the timing of and framework for Britain’s budget when Sajid Javid resigned on Thursday, saying he could not accept the conditions Johnson put on his continued role as finance minister. Rishi Sunak has been announced as his replacement.
Meanwhile, Sterling held on to most of its overnight gains on Friday and was set for its biggest weekly rise in two months, as investors ramped up expectations the new British finance minister would unveil a more expansionary budget next month.
With growth weak in Britain, many economists and investors want to see the UK expand fiscal spending to help weather the impact of Britain’s departure from the EU at the end of last month. — Reuters/AFP