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U.K.: Boris Johnson Wins First Vote in Conservative Leadership Contest

2 MINS READJun 13, 2019 | 14:34 GMT

What Happened: In the first ballot of the contest to appoint the next leader of the governing British Conservative Party, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson received the most votes, 114, far outpacing the totals for current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, respectively, the BBC reported June 13. The next Tory leader will automatically succeed Theresa May to become the United Kingdom's prime minister.

Why It Matters: Each of the candidates for Tory leadership have promised to make Brexit happen. But some — namely, Hunt and Gove — have taken a less hard-line stance than has Johnson, who has promised to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by the Oct. 31 deadline with or without an exit agreement. Should such a hard-line Brexiteer become prime minister and push for a no-deal exit, however, Parliament would still have the option of issuing a vote of no-confidence to block such a motion.

Background: The ongoing contest to appoint a new leader for the Conservative Party is the result of May's resignation as prime minister and party leader on June 7. Only Conservative members of Parliament are involved in the first voting rounds. Once there are only two candidates left, all registered party members in the country will then be allowed to vote on the final winner, which is expected to be announced in late July. The next rounds of party voting will take place on June 18, 19 and 20.

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