Boris Johnson wins race to be Tory leader and PM

Boris Johnson has been elected new Conservative leader in a ballot of party members and will become the next UK prime minister.

He beat Jeremy Hunt comfortably, winning 92,153 votes to his rival’s 46,656.

The former London mayor takes over from Theresa May on Wednesday.

In his victory speech, Mr Johnson promised he would “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn”.

Speaking at the Queen Elizabeth II centre in London, he said: “We are going to energise the country.

“We are going to get Brexit done on 31 October and take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring with a new spirit of can do.

“We are once again going to believe in ourselves, and like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self doubt and negativity.”

Mr Johnson thanked his predecessor, saying it had been “a privilege to serve in her cabinet”. He was Mrs May’s foreign secretary until resigning over Brexit.

The outgoing PM in turn congratulated her successor, promising him her “full support from the backbenches”.

US President Donald Trump also tweeted his congratulations to Mr Johnson, adding: “He will be great!”

Tory leadership result

Almost 160,000 Conservative members were eligible to vote and turnout was 87.4%.

Mr Johnson’s share of the vote – 66.4% – was slightly lower than that garnered by David Cameron in the 2005 Tory leadership election (67.6%).

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Analysis box by Laura Kuenssberg, political editor

Boris Johnson will become our next prime minister.

A sentence that might thrill you. A sentence that might horrify you. A sentence that 12 months ago even his most die-hard fans would have found hard to believe.

But it’s not a sentence, unusually maybe for politics, that won’t bother you either way.

Because whatever you think of Boris Johnson, he is a politician that is hard to ignore.

With a personality, and perhaps an ego, of a scale that few of his colleagues can match. This is the man who even as a child wanted to be “world king”.

Now, he is the Tory king, and the Brexiteers are the court.

Read Laura’s blog here

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The EU Commission’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said he was looking forward to working with Mr Johnson “to facilitate the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and achieve an orderly Brexit”.

Mr Johnson has previously said the agreement Mrs May reached with the EU was “dead”.

He has pledged the UK will leave the EU on 31 October “do or die”, accepting that a no-deal Brexit will happen if a new agreement cannot be reached by then.

Jeremy Corbyn reacted to the news of Mr Johnson’s victory by tweeting that he had “won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members”, but “hasn’t won the support of our country”.

“Johnson’s no-deal Brexit would mean job cuts, higher prices in the shops, and risk our NHS being sold off to US corporations in a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump,” the Labour leader continued.

“The people of our country should decide who becomes the prime minister in a general election,” he added.

Johnson familyImage copyright.PA MEDIA
Boris Johnson’s family – father Stanley, sister Rachel and fellow Tory MP Jo – attended the announcement

Newly-elected Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said Mr Johnson had “shown time and time again that he isn’t fit to be the prime minister of our country”.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon congratulated Mr Johnson, but said she had “profound concerns” about him becoming prime minister.

https://www.bbc.com

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