Boris Johnson odds-on favourite to replace Theresa May as Tory leader

Clay Curtis
May 26, 2019

British Prime Minister Theresa May reacts as she turns away after making her resignation speech in the street outside 10 Downing Street in London, England, Friday, May 24, 2019.

"We had a conversation for about 20/25 minutes and I left the room reassured by him that he wouldn't do this, but it now seems that he's coming out for a no-deal Brexit, and for all the reasons I explained to him at the time, I'm afraid that is something that is misleading to people".

Mrs May confirmed on Friday that she will resign as party leader on 7 June, but will continue as PM while the leadership contest takes place.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn said: "The last thing the country needs is weeks of more Conservative infighting followed by yet another unelected prime minister".

"I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love", she said tearfully.

The Conservative Party chooses its leaders in a two-step process: first comes a series of votes among the party's legislators to establish two top contenders, then there is a nationwide vote by about 120,000 party members.

Conservative Party leadership contests are typically bloodthirsty affairs, with plot twists and betrayals.

In his role as 1922 chairman, Sir Graham was due to have a role in deciding the rules of the leadership contest before organising the ballots of Tory MPs.

He said he would take a different approach to try and get Commons support for a Brexit deal than the one Theresa May used.

Boris Johnson is the clear favourite with bookmakers and he has said Britain should be prepared to exit the bloc without any deal if no acceptable agreement could be reached.

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Mr Raab, in a sign his campaign is gathering momentum, received a boost as Tory MP Helen Grant quit as a vice chairwoman of the party to back his leadership bid.

Mr Johnson said yesterday that if he wins the United Kingdom will leave in October "deal or no deal".

The venerable British publication "The Spectator" reported that the betting exchange Smarkets gives former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson a whopping 40 percent chance of succeeding May.

Brexit is set to dominate the contest which will begin in the week of June 10 when Conservative lawmakers begin to whittle down the field before party members, about 160,000 according to the Sunday Telegraph, choose the victor from the final two candidates.

French President Emmanuel Macron praised May's "courageous work" and U.S. President Donald Trump said he felt bad for her.

"I particularly want to pay tribute to her to agreeing to retain and strengthen the Common Travel Area", he added.

Ex-foreign minister Boris Johnson, his successor Jeremy Hunt, global development minister Rory Stewart and former work and pensions minister Esther McVey have also announced they would be interested in the top job.

May was hastily pushed into the humiliating spectacle after a meeting with the Conservative Party's committee chief in charge of leadership elections.

With her resignation, the manner of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union appears more ambiguous than ever.

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