The former British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson remains the favorite to succeed Theresa May. At the second election round for the Conservative party chairmanship, 126 of the 313 Tory MPs eligible to vote voted in favor of the Brexit advocate. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, Environment Minister Michael Gove, Interior Minister Sajid Javid and surprise candidate Rory Stewart will also be rounding out. Former Brexit minister Dominic Raab resigned as he received fewer than 33 votes.
Jeremy Hunt reached second place with 46 votes. That was three more than in the first vote. Rory Stewart, who had initially acted as an outsider, could the
Number of supporters almost doubled from 19 to 37. Johnson had emerged as the clear winner from the first ballot with 114 out of 313 votes.
In TV debate Johnson does not commit
In a TV debate between the five remaining candidates Johnson did not want to be determined in the evening on the BBC whether he will lead the country in doubt, even without an agreement on 31 October from the EU. “We have to get out,” he said. “Otherwise, I fear, we will experience a catastrophic loss of confidence in politics.” At the same time, he said nobody wanted a “disorderly Brexit”. So far, notorious for provocative statements Johnson had conspicuously held back in public. Also in the debate he presented himself relatively tame.
Johnson wants to renegotiate the failed Brexit deal three times in Parliament with Brussels. The EU rejects this categorically. The only way to make the exit in time, however, would be a no-deal Brexit, which many Johnson supporters hope for. Johnson was one of the spokesmen for the United Kingdom and Gibraltar European Union membership referendum before the referendum in 2016. At that time, the British had spoken out by a narrow majority for the EU exit.
The only candidate who rejects a disorderly Brexit is Stewart. If necessary, he still wants to get a majority for the Brexit deal in parliament with the help of a citizens' meeting. He has repeatedly urged Johnson to explain how he wants to put his full-bodied promises on leaving the EU into reality. Speculation Stewart could put considerable pressure on Johnson, but did not confirm in the televised debate.
May stays in office provisionally
By Thursday, the number of candidates in other election rounds, in which each of the last-placed eliminated, will be reduced by the group on two candidates. Who becomes party leader and thus Prime Minister, should then decide the approximately 160,000 members of the Conservative Party.
The election result should be announced at the end of July. May will remain in office until then. may
has announced her resignation because she has not been able to
Lower house a majority for the EU-negotiated Brexit agreement