Boris Johnson launches bid to become UK Prime Minister

Pro-Brexit activists in March but the Chancellor warned

They said: "The next Conservative leader, and prime minister, will have the crucial task of uniting Britain behind a new vision - not only to deliver Brexit, but to define what comes next".

The result exceeded the expectations of Johnson's team and makes him nearly certain to be among the final two candidates who will be put to a vote of 160,000 party members nationwide.

That's because with support from well over a third of Conservative MPs Boris Johnson already has enough votes to give him a place in the last two.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, the contender most vehemently against leaving the European Union without a deal, also hopes to make it past the first hurdle.

Three candidates Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Mark Harper were eliminated as they failed to secure at least 17 votes.

May's position was wrecked after she failed to get her Brexit deal approved by the British parliament - the agreement is unpopular with both hardline Brexiters, who say it keeps Britain too closely tied to the European Union, and by Europhiles, who favor greater participation in the EU.

He 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", Johnson said on Twitter.

One person Mrs May will probably not be voting for is for current favourite Boris Johnson, who launched several attacks on the PM's Brexit stance after quitting as Foreign Secretary a year ago.


Subsequent ballots are scheduled to take place on 18, 19 and 20 June to whittle down the contenders one by one until only two are left.

After weeks of hustings around the country, the 160,000 grass-roots Conservative party members pick the victor, with the result announced in the week beginning July 22.

Mr Stewart, who has criticised Mr Johnson for making promises on Brexit he can not keep, voiced optimism about his campaign: "This is incredible - we're getting some real momentum here ... it's increasingly clear it's me against Boris".

May will then step down as prime minister and the new leader of the largest party in parliament will be appointed as PM by Queen Elizabeth II. It's increasingly clear it's me against Boris.

"Tell people because we want to know what kind of leader or prime minister you would want to be".

Johnson has proposed cutting income tax to 20% from 40% for those earning 50,000-80,000 pounds ($65,000-$105,000), while Gove has suggested replacing value-added tax on goods and services with a narrower sales tax. "I am not aiming for a no-deal outcome".

PM hopeful Michael Gove runs close to his home in London, Britain, June 13, 2019. No deals have yet been done, the sources said.

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