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Johnson favourite in race to succeed May as British PM
June 15, 2019 | 4:15 PM
by Ismael David Mujahid
Former Mayor of London, Borish Johnson, who was one of 10 conservative MPs to enter the race, won 114 of 313 votes, making him a runaway favourite to win.
 
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London: The UK's former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is leading the race to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May in 10 Downing Street following the first round of the Conservative Party's leadership contest.

Johnson, who was one of 10 conservative MPs to enter the race, won 114 of 313 votes, making him a runaway favourite to win.

The pro-Brexit former Mayor of London has promised to lead the UK out of the EU by October 31 with or without a deal.

"We must deliver Brexit by October 31, restore faith in our democracy, and support the wealth creators that fund our vital public services," Johnson said at the launch of his campaign.



In second place is Jeremy Hunt, the man who took over Johnson's post as head of the Foreign Office after he resigned over May's Brexit deal. Hunt secured just 43 votes.

However, the MP for South West Surrey appeared satisfied with the outcome, tweeting: "Delighted to come second today. We face a crucial choice: who can negotiate some better choices than the bad ones we face. The stakes have rarely been higher for our country. This serious moment calls for a serious leader."



The other candidates to make it to the next round were Environment Secretary Michael Gove in third place with 37 votes, followed by former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab (27), Home Secretary Sajjid Javid (23), Health Secretary Matt Hancock (20), and Rory Stewart (19).

Three candidates were immediately eliminated from the race after the first round for being unable to garner enough votes. The trio included former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom (11), MP Mark Harper (10), and former works and pensions secretary Esther McVey (9) .

Hancock later dropped out on Friday, leaving six conservatives in the running for the UK's highest office.

Votes will be held until there are only two candidates left. The final pair will then be put to a nationwide vote where party members will select their candidate of choice to replace May as both head of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. The final vote is expected to begin on June 22.

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