Boris Johnson promises to ‘energise the country’

The ex-London Mayor is now set to fulfil his long-held ambition of residing in 10 Downing Street, after beating rival Jeremy Hunt.

Boris Johnson has been named the new Conservative Party leader – paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in a little over 24 hours’ time, on Wednesday.

The former London Mayor is now set to fulfil his long-held ambition of residing in 10 Downing Street, after beating rival Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Johnson said it was an “extraordinary honour and privilege” to be elected Tory leader and pledged to “energise the country” following the announcement.

“The campaign is over and the work begins,” he added.

He also paid tribute to outgoing prime minister Theresa May, thanking her for her “extraordinary service to this party and this country”.

And Mr Johnson described his leadership opponent Mr Hunt as a “font of excellent ideas”.

In the Tory leadership ballot, Mr Johnson won a total of 92,153 votes (66%) and Mr Hunt won 46,656 votes (34%).

The result follows a more than a month-long campaign in which both candidates travelled to all regions of the UK in their bid to win the support of the Tories’ grassroots in a series of hustings events.

Mr Johnson vowed to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October “do or die”, while Mr Hunt claimed his background as an “entrepreneur” made him the best candidate to negotiate Brexit.

In the earlier stages of the contest, during a series of votes among Tory MPs to whittle down a long list of candidates to a final two, Mr Johnson eventually secured the backing of more than half of his Conservative colleagues in parliament.

He won the support of 160 Tory MPs, with Mr Hunt backed by 77 Tory MPs.

But, despite his majority support among both Conservative members and MPs, Mr Johnson is unlikely to face a gentle first few weeks in Number 10.

A taste of the battles that will come in his aim of uniting the Tories was delivered on Monday by Sir Alan Duncan, who quit as a foreign office minister.

Support & Criticisms

Theresa May pledged her support to her successor, posting on Twitter: “We now need to work together to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole UK and to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of government.

“You will have my full support from the back benches.”

Mr Hunt paid tribute to Mr Johnson’s “optimism, energy and unbounded confidence in our wonderful country”, while Donald Trump became the first foreign leader to congratulate the incoming Prime Minister.

The US President tweeted: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed Mr Johnson had yet to win the support of the country at large.

He tweeted: “Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers’ friend, and pushing for a damaging No Deal Brexit.

“But he hasn’t won the support of our country.”