UK’s prime ministerial race has concluded its final phase as voting was closed late on Monday and counting is all set to begin on Tuesday, following which Theresa May’s successor will be unveiled.
The frontrunner throughout the contest has been former foreign secretary Boris Johnson as the Conservative Party’s over 160,000 members up and down the UK filed their postal votes to decide between him and the current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
In terms of timeline, Theresa May will carry on as caretaker PM for a few days even as she is set to address her final Prime Minister’s Questions session in the House of Commons on Wednesday after which she will head to Buckingham Palace to formally offer her resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.
The 93-year-old monarch will then meet the newly-elected Conservative Party leader and invite him to form the new government.
In one of final major prime ministerial acts, May chaired the government’s emergency Cobra meeting on Monday after a British-flagged tanker was seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz last week.
Theresa May will receive updates from ministers and officials on the crisis since the vessel and its crew, including Indian nationals, was seized. It will be one of the first big international issues to address for any new PM as well.
Boris Johnson said, “It is time this country recovered some of its can-do spirits. We can come out of the EU on October 31, and yes, we certainly have the technology to do so. What we need now is the will and the drive”.
Earlier in the month, May was hopeful as Boris Johnson had insisted that he would take Britain out of the European Union (EU) on the scheduled date of October 31, with or without a deal.
He said, “We need to get our mojo back as a party,” he added”.
“If there is a refusal (by Brussels) to compromise if they won’t change a dot or a comma of the withdrawal agreement, then obviously we have no choice to come out on different terms and that’s what we’ll do,” he further added.
He also said that Brexit will enable his country to champion trade deals around the world for the first time in 45 years.
Meanwhile, senior UK Cabinet members Chancellor Philip Hammond and justice secretary David Gauke have declared their intention to resign if Johnson is the one elected as party leader and Prime Minister, in line with their firm opposition to a no-deal Brexit.
A number of other Cabinet members are set to follow suit in the event that Johnson wins the race over similar Brexit-related concerns with Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan stepping down even before the new leader is announced in opposition to the prospect of Johnson as Prime Minister.