News World Brexiteer Boris Johnson far ahead in first round of contest to replace...

Brexiteer Boris Johnson far ahead in first round of contest to replace UK PM

Boris Johnson, who has pledged to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31, edged closer to power on Thursday when he won by far the most support from Conservative Party lawmakers in the first round of the contest to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.

Three years since voting 52%-48% to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is heading towards a possible crisis over Brexit as most of the candidates vying to succeed May are prepared to leave on Oct. 31 without a deal.

But the British parliament has indicated it will try to thwart such a no-deal exit – a step cartoonists regularly portray as driving over a cliff and that investors warn would send shock waves through financial markets and the world economy.

Johnson, the face of the official Brexit campaign in the 2016 referendum, won the support of 114 Conservative lawmakers in the first round of the contest to replace May. A total of 313 lawmakers voted.

Of the other 10 candidates in the first round, Jeremy Hunt, currently foreign minister, garnered 43 votes; Michael Gove, currently environment minister, garnered 37 votes and Dominic Raab, former Brexit minister, won 27 votes.

Andrea Leadsom, former leader of the House of Commons, Mark Harper and Esther McVey were knocked out.

Betting markets give Johnson, who has a long record of scandals and gaffes, a 70% probability of winning the top job.

After Thursday’s vote, Johnson said: “Thank you to my friends and colleagues in the Conservative & Unionist Party for your support. I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go.”

The second round is due on June 18 with further ballots planned for June 19 and June 20 until there are just two candidates. A postal ballot of the wider Conservative Party membership will then be held to pick a leader. A new prime minister should be chosen by the end of July.

Johnson kicked off his official campaign on Wednesday with a pledge to lead Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 and a warning to his divided Conservative Party that “delay means defeat”.

“After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31,” Johnson, a 54-year-old former foreign minister and London mayor, said then. “I am not aiming for a no-deal outcome.”

Johnson, whose unconventional style has helped him shrug off a series of scandals in the past, has won over much of his party by arguing that only he can rescue the Conservatives by delivering Brexit.

The EU has refused to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement reached with May last November, and Ireland has indicated it is not willing to change the Irish border “backstop” that upset the Northern Irish party which props up May’s minority government.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

43 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday

The Health Ministry announced 43 new COVID-19 cases on 19 October, out of 2,558 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 2, 687. The break-down of...

1420 only for emergencies regarding COVID-19

Due to the increased number of telephone calls to the telephone center 1420 of the Ambulance Service, it is pointed out that the center...

Anastasiades-Tatar to meet in UN premises

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Ersin Tatar, will meet in the UN premises in Nicosia. Government Spokesman,...

Four people sentenced to imprisonment for abduction

The Larnaca District Court today sentenced four people aged 42, 22, 24, and 19 to imprisonment for abducting a 27-year old last August in...

Weather expected to be cloudy with local showers this week

The weather this week is expected to be cloudy with local showers, mainly in the afternoons. Partly cloudy on Tuesday with isolated showers and possible...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...