UK: Johnson in pole position after first round of leadership vote
UK: Johnson in pole position after first round of leadership vote
Pro-Brexit activists in March but the Chancellor has warned the Cabinet against a no-deal Brexit
14 June, 2019, 09:49
Because the Conservatives are the UK's governing party, the victor of the race automatically becomes prime minister - and steps into a paralyzing Brexit impasse which Theresa May has tried and failed to break.
Of the other 10 candidates in the first round, Jeremy Hunt, now foreign minister, garnered 43 votes; Michael Gove, now environment minister, garnered 37 votes and Dominic Raab, former Brexit minister, won 27 votes.
Johnson, the face of the official Brexit campaign in the 2016 referendum, won the support of 114 Conservative lawmakers in the first round of the contest to replace May.
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, the contender most vehemently against leaving the European Union without a deal, also hopes to make it past the first hurdle.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom are considered Johnson's closest challengers.
Harper says an extension would be needed beyond the October 31 deadline to secure a deal but he would be prepared to leave the European Union without one rather than remain in the bloc.
Johnson meanwhile has picked up the support of Trump, who said both he and Hunt would be good in the top job.
Johnson thanked supporters and tweeted: "I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go".
Topping today's secret ballot was Boris Johnson, who topped the polls with 114 votes.
A third ballot will take place on June 19, with provision for a fourth and fifth ballot on June 20 if necessary.
At the same time, members of the Conservative Party will receive ballot papers allowing them to choose which of the two names they would prefer as leader.
The victor of the contest to lead the Conservative Party will become the next prime minister. 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.
And a spokesperson for Michael Gove's campaign said: "Everyone had written us off. People said we were going backwards".
Somebody who attempted to subvert our constitution, our liberties, our parliament... who dared to stand as prime minister and claim they could lock the doors on parliament would not deserve to be prime minister.
In a thinly-veiled jibe at Mr Johnson he said "this serious moment calls for a serious leader".
"Answer us. I've been asking Boris for a week".
May, who remains prime minister, stepped down as party leader on Friday, having failed to deliver her plan for taking Britain out of the European Union after almost three years in the post.
Mr Johnson, whose unconventional style has helped him shrug off a series of scandals in the past, has won over much of his party by arguing that only he can rescue the Conservatives by delivering Brexit.
Hancock and Stewart are against leaving on no-deal terms in any eventuality.
The former prosecutor has already been forced to shut down her social media accounts and resigned from three non-profit boards. She was the main prosecutor on the case along with Linda Fairstein , who is now a fiction writer.
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