Boris Johnson the former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London has won the ballot of the Conservative Party members to become the new party leader and therefore the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Theresa May after her negotiated Brexit Deal with the European Union was rejected by Parliament for a third time in March announced she would be stepping down as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister on May 24 but would stay on until her replacement had been elected.
The election process to elect a new Conservative leader involved five ballots of Conservative Party MPs to whittle the candidate field down to a final two of Boris Johnson and the current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. The Conservative Party membership of 159,000 were then called upon to elect the new leader from the final two.
Boris Johnson was a front and center campaigner during the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Johnson did not run in the leadership contest to replace David Cameron following the referendum after his chief ally Michael Gove decided to run for the leadership himself.
Thersea May was elected unopposed after all candidates withdrew, promising to deliver Brexit despite herself being a soft Remainer during the referendum. Her negotiated Brexit deals were widely viewed as Brexit in name only as they largely kept the existing European Union rules governing the United Kingdom that the British people voted to leave from.
Boris Johnson while campaigning for the leadership promised that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union with or without a deal by the new deadline of 31st October 2019.
Johnson’s opponent Jeremy Hunt was a remainer during the Brexit referendum and opposed a no deal Brexit. The result was 92,153 votes (66.4%) for Boris Johnson 46,656 (33.6%) for Jeremy Hunt. It was a comprehensive 2-1 victory for Johnson giving Johnson a strong mandate within the Conservative Party to implement his Brexit strategy.
Johnson began his speech by humbly paying tribute to his predecessor Theresa May before launching into a passionate and brash declaration of his agenda now that he was Prime Minister designate. He promised to “energise” the nation and spoke about the opportunities ahead for nation free from the shackles of the European Union.
Despite his comprehensive victory Johnson acknowledged there were divisions in the party that needed to be heeled “I know there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision.” but “Today at this pivotal moment in our history, we have to reconcile two noble sets of instinct”.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage whose less than one year old party won the 2019 European Parliamentary elections in the UK wished Johnson well on his Brexit pledge, but asked if he had the courage to deliver?
I wish @BorisJohnson well as Prime Minister with his do or die pledge to deliver Brexit on October 31st. Does he have the courage to deliver?
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) July 23, 2019
Boris Johnson was United States President Donald Trump’s choice for Prime Minister, the two are considered very similar in both their populist policies, their flamboyant political personas, as well as their outrageous hairstyles. Trump was quick to congratulate Johnson on his victory.
Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2019
Johnson will be sworn in as Prime Minster by the Queen on Wednesday UK time when Theresa May formally hands in her resignation. The new Cabinet will be announced on Thursday.
Boris Johnson has been in the public eye for over 30 years, first as journalist, then as a politician. His views are well known, he’s made it clear what he wants to do as Prime Minister. The question is now can he implement his agenda under Britain’s already fractured body politic?