Boris Johnson Tops 1st Conservative Leadership Ballot

Lester Mason
June 14, 2019

Meanwhile, the failure to deliver the deal this time could mean that there might be a no-deal exit from the European Union.

In a joint statement, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Rory Stewart said the leadership contest was "a critical moment" for both the United Kingdom and the Conservative party.

Three candidates Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Mark Harper were eliminated as they failed to secure at least 17 votes.

Johnson, a former London mayor and foreign minister, has spent weeks wooing Conservative lawmakers, staying out of the spotlight with a low-key campaign at odds with his flamboyant publicity stunts of the past.

Johnson thanked supporters and tweeted: "I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go".

Hancock and Stewart are against leaving on no-deal terms in any eventuality.

The contest so far has been dominated by revelations of past drug-taking by candidates and bickering over the best way to resolve the Brexit impasse.

There will be a number of other ballots held - including one next week with a threshold of 33 votes to move to the next round - until a head-to-head race between the top two candidates, voted on by all Conservative Party members.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who has been criticised for putting around 20 NHS contracts out to tender after promising "no privatisation on my watch", got 20 votes.

There is speculation that some of the remaining candidates may still withdraw before Tuesday's vote - but that is unlikely to happen until they return to Westminster on Monday morning.

Boris Johnson's performance in the Tory leadership race leads many of Friday's papers.

While Parliament has indicated it will try to stop a no-deal Brexit, which experts warn would hurt financial markets and the world economy, some of those running say it may be the only way for Britain to leave the bloc without further delay.

The survivors face their first live television debate on Sunday in a 90-minute programme on Channel 4. He kept mainly to a written script framing himself as the only hopeful who can lead the country to Brexit and beat the main opposition Labor Party in a general election and staving off the political challenge of Nigel Farage's newly-formed Brexit Party, which topped the European Parliament elections in Britain last month.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, who received 27 votes, said: "I'm proud and honoured to have the support of so many brilliant colleagues today".

A new prime minister should be chosen by the end of July.

Raw video: MP Boris Johnson officially launches his campaign to succeed Theresa May as party leader and prime minister while speaking to fellow Conservatives in London.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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