Boris Johnson wins Tory leadership contest to become new PM

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has won the Tory leadership contest with 66% of the total vote, making him the incoming prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Johnson is seen as a divisive figure primarily for his stance on a no-deal Brexit, which he has stated must not be taken off the table, and many believe he would be willing to accept more freely than other leadership candidates.

During his leadership campaign, Johnson was notable for claiming he would bring the UK out of the European Union by 31 October “do or die”.

The former Mayor of London has been seen by both politicians and the media as the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest since it began in June, with second place Jeremy Hunt standing little change of breaking Johnson’s majority of support within Tory members. Despite being seen as less divisive, more honest and having much more political experience than Johnson, Hunt has always trailed behind in the polls.

A Johnson premiership is likely to divide a Conservative party already fractured by opposing views on Brexit, with a leader that has faced more public outrage than most of his colleagues put together.

Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart

This week Rory Stewart, a former candidate in the leadership race, joined Philip Hammond and David Gauke in telling Johnson he would quit the cabinet before the new prime minister takes office rather than serve under him.

Writing in his column in the Daily Telegraph this weekend, Johnson used the example of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing to call for optimism as Britain heads for the next stage of the Brexit saga.

“If they could use hand-knitted computer code to make a frictionless re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere in 1969, we can solve the problem of frictionless trade at the Northern Irish border,” Johnson wrote Sunday’s column.

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