Boris Johnson will become Britain’s next prime minister after being elected leader of the Conservative party, beating Jeremy Hunt in the party’s leadership contest.
Boris Johnson replaces Theresa May, who announced her resignation last month, and will officially become prime minister on Wednesday, July 24.
The former mayor of London won the contest by 92,153 votes to 46,656, with 66% of the vote. Turnout was 87.4% among 159,320 party members, according to The Guardian.
Johnson will not take office formally until Wednesday afternoon, when Theresa May faces her final prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons before tendering her resignation to the queen.
President Trump quickly tweeted, “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!”
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 has wooed Conservatives by promising to succeed where May failed and lead the U.K. out of the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31—with or without a divorce deal.
Several Conservative ministers have already announced they will resign to fight any push for a “no-deal” Brexit, an outcome economists warn would disrupt trade and plunge the U.K. into a recession. Fears that Britain is inching closer to a “no-deal” Brexit weighed on the pound once again Tuesday. The currency was down another 0.3 percent at $1.24 and near two-year lows.
May stepped down after Britain’s Parliament repeatedly rejected the withdrawal agreement she struck with the 28-nation bloc. Johnson insists he can get the EU to renegotiate—something the bloc insists it will not do.
If not, he said Britain must leave the EU on Halloween, “come what may.”
Includes reporting from the Associated Press