Arch-Brexiteer Boris Johnson Emerges as Leader in UK Conservative Party Race after First Vote

Arch-Brexiteer Boris Johnson Emerges as Leader in UK Conservative Party Race after First Vote

Johnson got 114 out of a total of 313 votes cast by the Conservative Party MPs in the British House of Commons.

Key Brexiteer Boris Johnson has emerged as the leader in the race to succeed Theresa May as head of the UK Conservative Party and Prime Minister of Britain after the first round of voting.

Ex-Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who initially served as Foreign Secretary in the May Cabinet but quit as he deemed he approach to the Brexit talks with the EU too soft, received 114 votes on Thursday.

A total of 313 votes were cast in the first vote for the Tory leadership, and all were counted as valid.

Johnson thus emerged as the leader in the Tory leadership race, as the second top bidder, current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, got only 43 votes. Environment Secretary Michael Gove came in third with 37 votes.

“[I am] delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go,” Boris Johnson declared after the vote, as cited by BBC News.

Three of the total of 10 candidates to succeed Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and UK Prime Minister were knocked out of the race in the first secret ballot held in the House of Commons of the British Parliament.

Those are former leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom won 11 votes, Former chief whip Mark Harper got 10 votes, and x-work and pensions minister Esther McVey remained last with 9 votes.

In addition to Johnson, Hunt, and Gove, the four other of the seven candidates to proceed to the second round of voting in the Conservative Party’s leadership race are ex-Brexit minister Dominic Raab with 27 votes, Home Secretary Sajid Javid with 23 votes, Health Minister Matt Hancock with 20 votes, and former development minister Rory Stewart with 19 votes.

At least 17 votes of fellow Conservative MPs were needed for a bidder to proceed to the second round of voting.

The two most popular Conservative Party MPs will be put to Tory party members in a final vote later in June, with the winner who will succeed Theresa May as party leader and Prime Minister of the UK expected to be announced in the week of 22 July.

As she had promised earlier, UK Prime Minister Theresa May quit as leader of the ruling Conservative Party last week. Her entire term as Prime Minister has been dominated by Brexit, which remains on hold, with October 31, 2019, presently being the deadline granted to the UK by the EU.

(Banner image: Boris Johnson on Twitter)

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