Saturday, December 4

Britain’s new PM Johnson prepares for no 10


 

 

Boris Johnson has been named the new Conservative Party leader – paving the way for him to become prime minister in a little over 24 hours’ time.

The former London mayor is now set to fulfil his long-held ambition of residing in 10 Downing Street, after beating rival Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Johnson said it was an “extraordinary honour and privilege” to be elected Tory leader and pledged to “energise the country” following the announcement.

“The campaign is over and the work begins,” he added.

He also paid tribute to outgoing prime minister Theresa May, thanking her for her “extraordinary service to this party and this country”.

And Mr Johnson described his leadership opponent Mr Hunt as a “font of excellent ideas”.

Mrs May pledged her support to her successor, posting on Twitter: “We now need to work together to deliver a

Brexit that works for the whole UK and to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of government. “You will have my full support from the back benches.”

Mr Hunt paid tribute to Mr Johnson’s “optimism, energy and unbounded confidence in our wonderful country”, while Donald Trump became the first foreign leader to congratulate the incoming prime minister.

The US president tweeted: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!”

Mr Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka, initially congratulated Mr Johnson on becoming the next prime minister of “United Kingston”, before correcting her mistake on Twitter.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn tweeted: “Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers’ friend, and pushing for a damaging No Deal Brexit.

“But he hasn’t won the support of our country.”

In the Tory leadership ballot, Mr Johnson won a total of 92,153 votes (66%) and Mr Hunt won 46,656 votes (34%).

The result follows a more than a month-long campaign in which both candidates travelled to all regions of the UK in their bid to win the support of the Tories’ grassroots in a series of hustings events.

Mr Johnson vowed to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October “do or die”, while Mr Hunt claimed his background as an “entrepreneur” made him the best candidate to negotiate Brexit.