Sunday, 15 September, 2019

Tory rivals plot to stop Boris Johnson from winning power in UK

Bosris Johnson says he will pull the UK out of the European Union by Halloween Bosris Johnson says he will pull the UK out of the European Union by Halloween
Deanna Wagner | 14 June, 2019, 09:47

Earlier today, the first round of voting took place between the Tory leadership hopefuls with Mr Johnson winning by a comfortable margin with 114 fellow Conservative MPs backing him.

It comes as Johnson cemented his status as the candidate to beat after blowing away the competition in the first round of voting to decide the next Tory leader and UK PM.

The seven candidates remaining in the fray are: Johnson (114), Michael Gove (37), Jeremy Hunt (43), Matt Hancock (20), Sajid Javid (23), Dominic Raab (27) and Rory Stewart (19).

The remaining five candidates - Matt Hancock, Rory Stewart, Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey - are hoping to make it through and to build momentum.

The contest has so far been dominated by Brexit and arguments over whether a deal can be renegotiated with the European Union by 31 October and whether talking up a no deal Brexit is a plausible promise.

Tweeting after his win, Boris said: "Thank you to my friends and colleagues in the Conservative & Unionist Party for your support".

Mr Johnson, a former Foreign Secretary who served for eight years as Mayor of London, said he was "delighted" to win but warned that his campaign still had "a long way to go".

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One person Mrs May will probably not be voting for is for current favourite Boris Johnson, who launched several attacks on the PM's Brexit stance after quitting as Foreign Secretary past year. The victor will become Conservative leader and British prime minister.

A third ballot will take place on June 19, with provision for a fourth and fifth ballot on June 20 if necessary. They will be put to a postal ballot of party members, with the victor due to be announced the week of July 22. There had been speculation that the contest could be accelerated due to Johnson's strong lead but there was no immediate sign of rivals bowing out of the race.

Stewart, who has criticised Johnson for making promises on Brexit he can not keep, voiced optimism about his campaign: "This is wonderful - we're getting some real momentum here".

In a thinly-veiled jibe at Mr Johnson he said "this serious moment calls for a serious leader". It's increasingly clear it's me against Boris.

Some Brexiteers have urged the next prime minister...

Johnson, as quoted by news agency AFP, ahead of his official campaign launch, said, "After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the European Union on October 31".

The EU has refused to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement reached with May last November, and Ireland has indicated it is not willing to change the Irish border "backstop" that upset the Northern Irish party which props up May's minority government. Stewart voted against Brexit in 2016, and has vigorously opposed a "no-deal" Brexit. No deals have yet been done, the sources said.