Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has won the prime ministerial race and will become the next British prime minister after defeating Jeremy Hunt in the race to replace Theresa May as the Conservative leader.
Johnson, who was the overwhelming favourite to win the contest, is now set to unveil an ambitious domestic policy agenda which he had referred to in his victory speech in central London this afternoon.
He felt some pressure while dealing with press questions about who will be in his cabinet, how he will resolve the Brexit crisis and how he might govern with a wafer-thin majority.
Johnson thanked Theresa May for her service.
Boris is expected to give a speech in Downing Street tomorrow. He is expected to make a statement to MPs on Thursday, and he is scheduled to give a major speech at the end of this week.
Johnson was elected to parliament in 2001 and was sacked three years later as Conservative arts spokesman for allegedly lying about an extra-marital affair.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Johnson was sacked for fabricating quotes, but later made a name for himself as Brussels’ correspondent.
He also faced stinging criticism for wasting more than £300,000 on three crowd-control water cannons that the government then barred from use out of fear that they were excessively heavy-handed.
The former mayor of London, who has long cherished an ambition to lead his country, won the contest by a convincing margin 92,153 votes to 46,656, with 66 per cent of the vote share. The total turnout was 87.4 per cent.
Speaking ahead of Johnson’s expected victory, leading supporter Michael Fallon, who is tipped for a Cabinet job, said, “Our MPs across the Conservative Party will be willing the prime minister on”.
“They will be ready now to unite behind him in this task, which of course is challenging: to get Brexit done. But we need to do that and Boris Johnson will give us that fresh start”, he added.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, another leading supporter, said: “I think Boris will be good for the country because he will deliver on his promise to leave EU and he will do that by 31 October.”
“He will be good for the Conservative Party as he has the electoral stardust that makes him attractive and a unifying figure across the country.”
Johnson’s “do or die” pledge to deliver Brexit by October 31, as well as his central role in the Leave campaign, ultimately gave him the edge over Jeremy Hunt in a contest which was dominated by Brexit.
Johnson will not take office formally until Wednesday afternoon. Theresa May will face her final prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons before tendering her resignation to the Queen.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump congratulated Boris Johnson, saying he will be “great” as UK’s next PM.
Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2019