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Boris Johnson chosen to replace Theresa May as UK prime minister

Boris Johnson chosen to replace Theresa May as UK prime minister

ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — Boris Johnson has been chosen as the new leader of the Conservative Party, and will take over as prime minister from Theresa May when she resigns on Wednesday.

Johnson was always the favorite to win the race, and in the end convincingly beat his rival Jeremy Hunt in the ballot of 160,000 Conservative Party members.

As the Conservative Party remains the largest party in the House of Commons, Johnson will become prime minister without having been elected by the general public.

May will take questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, before meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace to tender her resignation.

In the end, Brexit proved to be May’s downfall. The Brexit deal she spent the best part of two years negotiating with European Union leaders was voted down three times in the Houses of Parliament, forcing her to request an extension until October.

The delays proved to be deeply unpopular with Brexit-supporting members of her own party.

May announced her resignation on May 24, triggering the Conservative Party election from which Johnson, one of her biggest critics, emerged victorious.

“It is a matter of deep regret that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” May said in May. “My successor will have to find a consensus. Consensus will only be possible if those on both sides of the debate compromise.”

Johnson has campaigned on the basis that he will find a better deal with the EU between now and the Oct. 31 deadline. However, he has repeatedly said that if they cannot agree to a deal, he will lead the U.K. out of the EU with a “no-deal” Brexit, a prospect critics say will be hugely damaging to the economy.

But reports in the British media are already suggesting that Johnson’s premiership will get off to a turbulent start.

Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer under May, has already indicated he could vote to collapse a government in the event of Johnson pursuing a “no deal” Brexit, according to The Guardian.

Johnson will become the U.K.’s third prime minister since the historic Brexit referendum of 2016, which saw the country vote by a margin of 52-48 to leave the EU.

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