- 23 Jul 19
The Uxbridge MP was elected as the UK Prime Minister-in-waiting by members of the Conservative Party. Tomorrow, the deal is likely to be sealed, after current Prime Minister, Teresa May, submits her resignation to the Queen.
Boris Johnson has been announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party – and the 'about-to-be' new UK Prime Minister this morning.
Johnson won the vote of members of the Conservative Party to become party leader by taking over 60% of the vote.
The news came after six weeks of campaigning, during a Tory leadership contest, which followed on from Theresa May's announcement in June that she would be stepping down.
Johnson was a heavy favourite to become the leader of the Conservatives, and then Prime Minister, right from the beginning of the contest. His high profile and polarising personality had made him a favourite among grass-roots Tory voters.
After battling it out with 11 other candidates, Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were the final two candidates vying for the leadership – and ultimately the role of Prime Minister – at the end of June.
NEW PRIME MINISTER
Despite his popularity within the Tory party, Boris Johnson has proved to be a divisive figure in UK politics. His frequent gaffes have been heavily criticised - in particular, when he mistakenly said that British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalism in Iran, a statement which landed the woman in an Iranian prison.
As well as that, Johnson's constant lies, his threats of a No-Deal Brexit, and his cosying up to US President Donald Trump, have all led to a significant backlash. While loved by a certain type of Tory, he is trusted by almost no one else.
Beyond that, many commentators have questioned how adequate Boris Johnson could possibly be in relation to delivering Brexit, considering that the UK Parliament has consistently voted down every possible Brexit strategy - including Theresa May's Brexit deal, for which he himself voted. His options are further constrained both by the fact that the Government only has a very slim majority; and by the vote taken last week which precludes the option of proroguing of parliament, which had been threatened by Johnson.
Following confirmation of the the news, many people - both in the UK and Ireland - will be keeping a close eye on who Johnson selects for his Cabinet. Many of his earliest supporters in the campaign were hardline Brexiteers, and it's not inconceivable that the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Dominic Raab and Priti Patel could all find themselves in the top offices by the end of the week. There is also a question as to whether or not we will see an attempt to co-op Nigel Farage to the Tory Brexit cause by gving him some honorary role in relation to representation of the UK in the US.
Inevitably, there has been a lot of speculation about who might take the role of Northern Ireland Secretary of State. With Northern Ireland being the centre of the dispute around the backstop, and with every NI party being united in their dislike of current Secretary of State Karen Bradley, the person undertaking this role could have a pivotal role to play in the next few months. Michael Gove, who previously called the Good Friday Agreement a "validation of terrorism", has been tipped for the role. What a lovely prospect to look forward to that would be!