New French Prime Minister named as Jean Castex following Edouard Philippe resignation

3 July 2020, 12:02

Jean Castex has been named as the new Prime Minister
Jean Castex has been named as the new Prime Minister. Picture: Getty
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Jean Castex has been named as the new French Prime Minister following the resignation of Edouard Philippe.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigned this morning, and a Government reshuffle expected.

Newly appointed Jean Castex is the man who coordinated France's virus reopening strategy.

The Elysee Palace announced he will stay on until a new cabinet is appointed.

Under the country's constitution, the PM heads the Government, with the President as head of state.

Questions over Philippe's job had swirled since mid-June when Macron declared he wanted to "reinvent" his presidency.

President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to boost the two remaining years of his term with a focus on efforts to relaunch the French economy after the coronavirus crisis.

The French prime minister has resigned
The French prime minister has resigned. Picture: PA

In French government reshuffles, the prime minister tenders their resignation ahead of cabinet appointments but can still be re-named to the position.

Mr Philippe had actually seen his popularity increase significantly in recent weeks - despite French authorities facing criticism over their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Philippe's resignation could create a potential rival for Mr Macron, who is seeking to be re-elected in 2022.