By Jordan Karp
UNITED NATIONS — Voters chose former London Mayor Boris Johnson to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister and he vows the United Kingdom will leave the European Union by Oct. 31.
Johnson won each of the five polls in the Conservative leadership election before securing 66.1% of the final vote, compared to British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s 33.5%. The election results were announced on Tuesday.
Some members of Parliament (MPs) have threatened to resign prior to Johnson’s victory, and Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan renounced his position after the election results, refusing to be a part of the Johnson Ministry. Other MPs, including one of Johnson’s competitors, Rory Stewart, have planned to resign after Theresa May officially hands over the reins on Wednesday.
Johnson galvanized the Conservative Party — also known as the Tories — in his victory speech, promising to lead the U.K out of the E.U. and ward off the challenges by Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn.
The Tories are nine seats shy of the majority in the British Parliament and continue to face fierce resistance from Corbyn, who served as a significant roadblock during May’s failed Brexit deal.
Corbyn rebuffed Johnson’s victory on Twitter saying, “Boris Johnson has been elected by fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Tory members” and is organizing a rally for a general election on Thursday. Corbyn hopes that a general election may give his party, the Labour Party, a chance to turn over more Tory seats.
Johnson also is expected to clash with the European Commission throughout the fall with its incoming president warning of “challenging times ahead.”
President Donald Trump and Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage congratulated Johnson on his victory, with the latter offering an alliance to defeat Corbyn and ensure the delivery of Brexit.
Since the “Brexit Referendum” in June 2016, by which 51.89% of Brits voted to leave the E.U., the Brexit crisis has cost the former Prime Minister David Cameron plus the outgoing May their jobs, and contributed to the mass headache of “Brexiteers” and “non-Brexiteers” in the U.K. Johnson, May’s former foreign secretary, resigned last July over opposition to her Brexit strategy.
Johnson and his supporters hope he is the one who ends the crisis.