Sports Contest

Boris Johnson elected as new British Prime Minister, replaces Theresa May

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 23 July 2019, 05:35 PM
Boris Johnson (File Photo)
Boris Johnson (File Photo)

Britain's race for prime ministerial post has finally come to an end on Tuesday with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson elected as the Conservative Party leader and the new Prime Minister of the country. Johnson, 55, beat foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in the battle for 10 Downing Street, which was triggered last month following the resignation of Brexit-battered May amid a mounting rebellion from within the Conservative Party.

In his brief victory statement, Johnson said, "No one person or party has the monopoly of wisdom. Time and again it is to us [Conservative Party] that people have turned".

"At this pivotal point in history... I know that we will do it. The mantra is deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat (Labour leader) Jeremy Corbyn. I will work flat out to repay your confidence. The work begins now," the new prime minister stated.

The leader was addressing the Tory party members at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, near the Houses of Parliament, soon after the results were declared. The final phase of voting to elect the new prime minister was concluded on Monday evening in order to take up the counting process to reveal May’s succesor.

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The outcome of the ballot of about 160,000 Tory members has been revealed at 11.45 am (16:15 IST) in London this morning. Johnson won 92,153 votes compared to 46,656 polled for Hunt by a voting base of 159,320 Tory membership, with 509 rejected ballots. The poll turnout was pegged at 87.4 per cent, with Boris Johnson racing ahead with a vote of nearly two to one.

Thereafter, the new leader is expected to make a brief victory statement but is not set to take formal charge until Wednesday, once May has driven up to Buckingham Palace to tender her resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.

Johnson, 55, has been the frontrunner in the race ever since a group of Tory MPs put their hat in the ring for the first phase of the leadership election within the Conservative parliamentary party.

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The former Mayor of London, who has in the past described himself as a "son-in-law of India" by virtue of his now estranged wife Marina Wheeler's Indian mother, also played up a strong "personal relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi".

Johnson's colourful personal life has been under some scrutiny during the month-long leadership contest, with speculation rife in the UK media on whether his girlfriend Carrie Symonds is likely to join him as partner at 10 Downing Street.

Theresa May, who chaired her last Cabinet meeting on Tuesday at Downing Street, will address her final Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday and then be driven to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen.

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The 93-year-old monarch will then invite the new PM-elect to form a government, following which he will make his first speech as Prime Minister on the steps of Downing Street on Wednesday evening.

The new PM will then chair his first Cabinet meeting a day after, on Thursday morning, before the UK Parliament is set to rise for its summer recess until early September.

First Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 04:39 PM
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