Boris Johnson won the Conservative Party’s leadership election on Tuesday and will take the reins of the government Wednesday, fulfilling his decades-old ambition to become Britain’s Prime Minister.
As supporters compare his brash public persona to a modern-day Winston Churchill while his detractors liken him more to President Trump, the 55-year-old former mayor of London will have to demonstrate his ability to guide the country through the greatest test since the end of World War II.
Johnson, an avid supporter of Brexit, will attempt to succeed where outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May failed – getting Britain to honor the 2016 referendum result and leave the European Union. In addition to that, a crisis with Iran and a relationship with the U.S. in need of repair await him.
They’ll need a derrick to pry May from 10 Downing. What a mess she’s left. Let’s hope Trump has inspired Johnson to be hos own man, do the right things.
He’s a lover of Winston Churchill. The bodes most well.
Boris assembles his team: Johnson immediately appoints Remainer Mark Spencer as chief whip after becoming Tory leader in landslide vote – but will Hunt KEEP his Cabinet position after last-minute backstage chat with new PM?
- Boris Johnson has been announced as Conservatives’ new leader after winning backing from party members
- The MP won a resounding 66 per cent of the votes from Conservative Party members in the postal ballot
- The newly-elected Tory leader will take over from Theresa May as the Prime Minister tomorrow afternoon
- Mr Johnson has made an appeal for party unity following a fractious campaign against Jeremy Hunt
- He has reiterated his determination to force through Brexit by the end of October with or without a deal
- Respected behind-the-scenes operator Mark Spencer has been appointed as the government chief whip
- Education minister Anne Milton became latest to resign saying she had ‘grave concerns’ over No Deal
Boris Johnson was cheered to the rafters by Tory MPs tonight – as he got his leadership off to a running start by appointing Mark Spencer as his chief whip.
Mr Johnson was greeted with whooping and banging of desks as he arrived to address the backbench 1922 committee at Parliament after securing the top job.
The new Conservative leader spent the afternoon thrashing out the shape of the rest of his team with aides amid high secrecy, with rumours swirling over who will get the biggest posts when he officially takes over from Theresa May as PM tomorrow.
He kicked off the process by drafting in Mr Spencer, who is little-known outside Westminster but a respected behind-the-scenes operator.
No formal announcements are expected until after he gets the keys to No10, but Sajid Javid, Liz Truss and Matt Hancock are widely thought to be battling it out to become Chancellor. Mr Javid arrived for the ’22 with Mr Johnson, in what could be a sign he is destined for No11.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt is fighting to avoid being evicted from the Foreign Office after failing to run Mr Johnson close in the Tory contest. The two men were reported to have had a long conversation in the ‘green room’ before the result was declared, with speculation they might have been discussing his future. Mr Hunt conspicuously opted to attend the gathering of MPs this evening, suggesting he is happy with the outcome of the talks.
Mr Johnson’s family including father Stanley, sister Rachel and brother Jo were among those in the audience at the Queen Elizabeth II centre to hear the news that he had secured 66 per cent of the 140,000 votes from activists. However, there was no sign of girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
The announcement was immediately hailed by US president Donald Trump, who said Mr Johnson would do a ‘great job’. But EU negotiator Michel Barnier indicated that while he wanted to ‘work constructively’ with the new PM the Withdrawal Agreement was not up for grabs.
In his victory speech, Mr Johnson – whose ambition as a boy was to be ‘World King’ – paid tribute to Mr Hunt, and thanked Theresa May for her ‘extraordinary’ service to the country.
He said he would bring a ‘can do spirit’ to ‘deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn’. He joked that the acronym for his ‘deliver, unite and defeat’ goals was ‘DUD’. But he insisted he was going to add an ‘E’ to make ‘DUDE’.
‘Dude, we are going to energise the country,’ he said to laughter. ‘Like some slumbering giant we are going to arise and ping off the guy ropes of self-doubt.’
However, Mr Johnson is also facing a potentially catastrophic Tory mutiny as MPs mobilise against his ‘do or die’ vow to secure Brexit by Halloween – even if it means crashing out without an agreement.
Education minister Anne Milton quit minutes before Mr Johnson’s coronation, saying she had ‘grave concerns’ and could not fall into line with his Brexit policy. Remainers including Philip Hammond, Rory Stewart and Dominic Grieve also stayed away from the ’22 meeting tonight.
Boris Johnson gave a victory salute and thumbs up today as he visited Conservative campaign HQ after winning the the leadership contest
Boris Johnson – whose ambition as a boy was to be ‘World King’ – paid tribute to Mr Hunt, and thanked Theresa May for her ‘extraordinary’ service to the country
Mr Johnson appeared slow to shake hands with Mr Hunt after he was declared the new Conservative leader todayContenders Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt shook hands as they heard the dramatic vote result today
Mr Johnson said he would ‘energise’ the country and wake the ‘slumbering giant’ to take advantage of Brexit opportunities
Mr Johnson has made Mark Spencer his chief whip. The former Remainer is a little-known figure outside Westminster, but an influential behind-the-scenes operator
The announcement was immediately hailed by US president Donald Trump, who said Mr Johnson would do a ‘great job’
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