London: Boris Johnson on Tuesday comfortably won the Conservative Party’s leadership race to become the United Kingdom’s (UK) next Prime Minister and vowed to “get Brexit done” by the October 31 deadline, amid the political uncertainty over the country’s divorce deal with the European Union that cost his predecessor her job.
Johnson, the 55-year-old former foreign secretary and London Mayor, was widely expected to beat foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in the battle for 10 Downing Street, which was triggered last month when a Brexit-battered Theresa May resigned as party chief and prime minister amid a mounting rebellion from within the Conservative Party.
“We are going to energise the country. We are going to get Brexit done on 31 October and take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring with a new spirit of can do,” Johnson said in his first speech as the new Conservative Party leader.
“We are once again going to believe in ourselves, and like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self doubt and negativity,” he said, in his characteristic ebullient style.
The west London MP from Uxbridge and Ruislip sought to strike a unifying note by thanking his predecessor, May, and his challenger Hunt as a formidable opponent whose good ideas he plans to “steal”.
The flamboyant politician is expected to spend some time finalising his key cabinet and ministerial posts. A number of Brexiteers, including Indian-origin MPs Priti Patel and Rishi Sunak – both supporters of Johnson, are expected to be part of his new team.
“With Boris Johnson leading the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister, the UK, will have a leader who believes in Britain, will implement a new vision for the future of the country and a roadmap to move forward and thrive as a self-governing nation that re-establishes our ties with our friends and allies around the world such as India,” said Patel.