Path 27

Boris Johnson builds momentum in UK Conservative race

Path 27

LONDON (AP) — Boris Johnson solidified his front-runner status in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister on Tuesday, gaining backing from leading pro-Brexit lawmakers.

But he faced calls from his rivals to abandon his low-profile campaign strategy and start answering questions from journalists and the public.

Ten candidates are running to succeed Theresa May, who stepped down last week as Conservative Party leader.

Johnson, 54, has won the backing of many Brexiteer Conservatives by promising to lead Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal.

Brexit-backing ex-party leader Iain Duncan Smith wrote in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph that Johnson “is the most likely to deliver on the requirement to leave the EU” by that date.

Trending:
74,000 Ballots Returned with No Record of Ever Being Sent: Shocking AZ Audit Update

Johnson has also been endorsed by some pro-EU Tories who think the flamboyant, tousle-haired ex-foreign secretary has the skills to energize a demoralized party and win back voters angry at the mess politicians have made of Brexit.

In a straw poll among a right-of-center bloc of Tory lawmakers on Monday, Johnson received almost double the votes of his nearest rival.

Most have given television and radio interviews and held public launch events — things Johnson has so far avoided, in an attempt to reduce the chance of gaffes that could derail his campaign. He also has not said whether he will participate in planned televised debates among leadership candidates.

The right-leaning Daily Mail newspaper said in an editorial that “if he wants to win, this bunker mentality is simply not good enough. Even though he’s the favorite, he can’t just sit back and hope to win by default.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, another contender, said “everybody who puts their name forward to be prime minister should be open to scrutiny, should be accountable.”

“I think everybody should participate in the proposed TV debates and I think we have got to ask the question, why not?” he told the BBC.

May resigned as Conservative leader last week after failing three times to secure Parliament’s backing for her divorce deal with the EU. She’ll remain caretaker prime minister until the party chooses a replacement.

The candidates to succeed her divide between those, including Johnson, who say the U.K. must leave on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, and others willing to delay departure in order to secure a divorce deal that’s acceptable both to the EU and to Parliament.

“It is not going to be possible to leave on the 31st of October,” said candidate Mark Harper, who said more time would be needed to secure a reworked deal with the EU and get it through Parliament.

Related:
2020 Tokyo Olympics May Lack Some Star Power After Multiple Athletes Test Positive for COVID-19

But former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom put herself firmly in the hard Brexit camp, saying that “leaving the EU on October 31 is for me a hard, red line.”

In votes starting Thursday, the 313 Conservative lawmakers will narrow the field of 10 candidates down to two, who will be put to a vote of about 160,000 party members nationwide.

The winner, who will become Britain’s next prime minister, is due to be announced in late July.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation