In a long-anticipated move, Boris Johnson has been selected as the new leader of the British Conservative Party and thus, the new prime minister of the UK. He will officially succeed outgoing PM Theresa May on Wednesday.
Johnson won with 66.4 percent of the vote (92,153) to Hunt’s 33.6 percent (46,656). Turnout was 87.4 percent.
Delivering his impassioned victory speech, the new prime minister claimed that there will be people who “question the wisdom” of him becoming leader.
Some 160,000 members of the Tory party had been voting by post for the past two and a half weeks. Johnson saw off his challenger Jeremy Hunt and was revealed as the new PM shortly before midday local time in London.
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A former mayor of London and former British foreign secretary, Johnson was the clear favourite from the moment Theresa May announced she would be stepping down, following her failure to secure a Brexit deal with the EU.
A staunch Brexiteer, Johnson won the backing of over 50 percent of MPs in the first stage of the leadership race, marking him as the likely successor to lead Brexit-era Britain into the final chapter of the EU divorce saga which began with the 2016 referendum.
Theresa May chaired her final cabinet meeting Tuesday morning and will tender her official resignation to the Queen on Wednesday afternoon, immediately after her final Prime Minister’s Questions. Johnson will attend an audience at Buckingham Palace shortly afterwards before being sworn in.
Johnson is expected to issue a slew of changes in his cabinet in the coming days as he prepares to take up the mantle of Brexit negotiations.
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