July 23, 2019
On Tuesday, Boris Johnson was declared the winner of the race for Conservative Party leader, thus making him the next prime minister.
He bested Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt by a comfortable margin, winning 92,153 votes to Hunt’s 46,656.
Addressing a crowd for his victory his speech, Johnson said that he would “deliver Brexit, unite the country, and defeat Jeremy Corbyn.”
“We are going to energize the country,” he said. “We are going to get Brexit done on 31 October and take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring with a new spirit of can do.”
“We are once again going to believe in ourselves, and like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self doubt and negativity.”
Johnson thanked Theresa May, saying it had been “a privilege to serve in her cabinet” as foreign secretary. May congratulated Johnson, promising him her “full support from the backbenches.”
Johnson’s rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said he was “very disappointed” in the result but that Johnson would do “a great job” and that he had “total, unspeakable confidence in our country.”
Hunt said that his vote for remain during the Brexit referendum was a limiting factor for his electability.
“It was always going to be an uphill for us because I was someone who voted Remain and I think lots of party members felt that this was a moment when you just had to have someone who voted for Brexit in the referendum,” Hunt said. “In retrospect, that was a hurdle we were never able to overcome.”
In the U.S., President Donald Trump congratulated Johnson for his victory, saying, “a really good man is going to be the prime minister of the U.K. now,” adding that Johnson would “get it done” on Brexit.
“They call him Britain Trump,” the president added. “That’s a good thing.”
Trump 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
Several U.K. government officials announced their resignations following, or moments before, Johnson’s victory.
Education Minister Anne Milton tweeted her resignation half an hour before the leadership result was announced, saying that the U.K. “must leave the E.U. in responsible manner.”
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said that he would return to the backbenches to spend more time “serving Cumbria” and “walking.”
David Gauke said that he would resign as Justice Secretary, joining Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, and Culture Minister Margot James among others, who have said they disagree too much with Johnson’s Brexit strategy to work with him.
– MK. II