Theresa May became Tory party leader in 2016 but has failed in her most important task – to deliver Brexit. The party’s 160,000 members have now voted for a new leader to replace her.
Boris Johnson has been elected leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party after defeating his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The former Mayor of London, famous for his mop of blonde hair and political and linguistic gaffes, promised Tory members he would deliver Brexit before 31 October, despite a seemingly interminable stalemate in Parliament.
Mr Johnson won 92,153 votes, compared to 46,656 for Mr Hunt.
In his first speech as leader, Mr Johnson paid tribute to Mrs May and then moved on to describe what the future holds.
He said many people will question the wisdom of him becoming the Tory party leader and prime minister.
Mr Johnson said: “No one party has a monopoly on wisdom but you will see that we Conservatives have had the best insight to human nature…and time again it is to us that the people have turned.”
He said: “I say to all the doubters, we are going to get energised and we are going to get Brexit done.”
Mr Johnson said: “We are going to unite this incredible country. 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.”
Commenting on Brexit, he said there was a need to reconcile the desire for free trade and the desire for democratic self-government.
But Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, reacted angrily: “Scotland did not vote for Brexit, or for the current Tory government – and certainly not for Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. All of this underlines the need for Scotland to have the right to determine our own future.”