LONDON, England – Former mayor of London and former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson won the contest to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party on Tuesday and has become the new prime minister of the UK.
Johnson, Brexit hardliner, defeated rival Jeremy Hunt, winning two-thirds of the votes in a ballot of about 160,000 Conservative members. He was installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May yesterday.
The 93-year-old Queen of the UK, Elizabeth II also met with Johnson yesterday, the 14th prime minister of her 67-year reign.
Johnson’s major win was largely credited to the promise he plans to fullfill – that of leading the U.K. out of the European Union.
Johnson has vowed that Britain will leave the EU on the currently scheduled date of Oct. 31, with or without a deal on departure terms. The EU is adamant that the deal it made with May will not be renegotiated, and economists warn that a no-deal Brexit would disrupt trade and plunge the U.K. into recession. However, Johnson is confident that not only will he deliver Brexit, but that the move will be a success.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been critical of May’s inability to achieve a Brexit deal, tweeted his congratulations and said Johnson will be “great.”
May stepped down after Britain’s Parliament repeatedly rejected the withdrawal agreement she struck with the 28-nation block.
Boris Johnson will preside over a House of Commons in which most members oppose leaving the EU without a deal, and where the Conservative Party lacks an overall majority.