Boris Johnson has been elected new Conservative leader in a ballot of party members and will become the next UK prime minister.
Boris Johnson — the former UK foreign minister and former mayor of London with a reputation for brashness, bombast, and bending the truth has won the Conservative leadership contest, setting him up to be Britain’s new prime minister.
Which means the onetime unofficial face of Brexit will soon have the responsibility of steering the United Kingdom through its messy divorce with the European Union.
Johnson cruised through the Conservative leadership contest that began last month, his victory over his opponent, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, never really in doubt.
Johnson entered the race as the clear frontrunner and easily got the backing of Conservative members of Parliament and the approximately 160,000 party voters — the 0.25 percent of Brits who ultimately got to choose the country’s next leader. “We know the mantra of the campaign: deliver Brexit, unite the country, and defeat [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn,” Johnson said during his victory speech on Tuesday. “And that is what we’re going to do.”
But winning might have been the easy part. Johnson is expected to takes over as the prime minister on July 24 with the latest Brexit deadline just about three months away, on October 31. And besides a change in leadership.
Theresa May out, Johnson in not much else has shifted. The UK is still divided over how, or whether, to break up with the EU, and May’s original, unpopular deal is still the only one on offer from Brussels.
Johnson, a vocal proponent of Brexit, has said he will renegotiate May’s Brexit deal. The problem is that the EU has said it will not renegotiate, and Johnson’s plan to break the impasse primarily relies on ideas the EU has already rejected and the power of positive thinking.