Brexit supporter Johnson far ahead in contest to replace British PM

Clay Curtis
June 14, 2019

Those two candidates will then face a straight vote by the party's grassroots members, with the victor announced towards the end of July.

Johnson secured 114 votes in party balloting of 313 conservatives members of parliament.

A small hardcore of ultra-remain Conservative Members of Parliament voted with Labour to act against no-deal Brexit Wednesday night - an attempt that was seen off by the government - but now former attorney general and anti-Brexit rebel Dominic Grieve has said he would try to bring the government down altogether.

The first round of voting by Conservative MPs saw the crowded field in the race to replace Theresa May whittled down, with three falling at the first hurdle.

They have another round of hustings before Conservative MPs on Monday before Tuesday's second ballot, when the bar rises from 16 backers to 32, again with the contender with the fewest votes dropping out.

Conservative MPs hold their first secret ballot in the governing party's leadership contest as they begin whittling down the contenders.

"We can't risk going with someone who feels like the short-term, comfort-zone choice", the interior minister said, recounting his story of growing up in Britain as the son of Pakistani immigrants.

After Thursday's result was announced, Hunt tweeted: "The stakes have rarely been higher for our country. This serious moment calls for a serious leader".

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This is exactly the kind of thing we need to avoid putting on air. "We have only requested them to be fair in their comment. We should also be very careful not to look to create controversy around an event or match at any time".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said he was "delighted" to be through to the next round, and that he wanted to have a "proper debate about ideas".

Any of the 10 candidates who fails to secure at least 17 votes will be eliminated from the contest. But we gained support and are in touching distance of second.

He told the Press Association he was "absolutely over the moon" to have secured just enough votes to survive the first ballot.

In addition to Johnson, Hunt and Gove, four other contenders remain in the race: ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart.

Raab, like Johnson, has warned that he was ready to take Britain out of the European Union without an agreement when the new Brexit deadline arrives in October, if the European Union does not offer better terms.

Asked who she would urge her supporters to back if she is eliminated, Ms McVey said: "I'm not answering that yet".

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who is supporting Mr Hunt's campaign, told the Press Association: "I think he's attractive to many sides of the party because he's a serious individual".

"This campaign is just getting started, and we've got a good base to build on", he said.

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