Boris Johnson to become country’s prime minister
PUBLISHED: 13:50 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:20 23 July 2019
Boris Johnson has been elected as leader of the Conservative Party and will become the country’s prime minister tomorrow.
Mr Johnson won 92,153 votes in the contest, where 159,320 Tory members cast their ballots - a turnout of 87.4pc.
He said it was an extraordinary honour and privilege" to be elected Tory leader.
He added: "I know that there will be people round the place who will question the wisdom of your decision, and there may even be some people here who would wonder what they've done."
But he doubled down on his commitment to leaving the EU in the speech, made at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London.
Later Mr Johnson will address staff at Conservative Party headquarters before appearing before Tory MPs at the 1922 committee meeting.
Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, was the first cabinet minister to back Mr Johnson and will expect a plum job in the new government for her dedication.
Ms Truss has made no secret of the fact she would like to be the first woman chancellor of the exchequer, but that is a highly-contested job which others will also be looking to bag.
Ms Truss may instead be promoted to business secretary.
Following the announcement Mr Johnson had won Mrs Truss said: "From Wednesday the United Kingdom will have a new prime minister who has the drive and energy to deliver Brexit, to ensure a successful and dynamic Britain."
There will also be eyes on Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth and party chairman. It has been speculated that Brexit minister James Cleverly, MP for Braintree, could take the job.
Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland, controversially voted against his party for the first time in 22 years last week as he said he could not trust Mr Johnson.
But many other Norfolk Tories had thrown their weight behind the new leader during the race.
Speaking after the result Mr Simpson said: "Well I'm not surprised. I do wonder whether he knows what he's got himself in to.
"It was quite American to see the whole Johnson family there - apart from his children and his lady friend [Carrie Symonds]."
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Mr Simpson said he would be looking over the next few days at policy announcements beyond Brexit but said he would "observe [his] colleagues with a degree of wry amusement" as they waited by their phones wondering if they would get spots in the new government.
While George Freeman, who backed Mr Johnson late on in the contest, said: "I believe he will now bring the energy, passion, and vision we need to now reunite and re-inspire the rest of the country, divided and dispirited by three years of Brexit civil war with a bold programme of One Nation reforms to give people hope again, and ensure we keep the Marxist Corbyn New left out of power."
Sir Henry Bellingham, who represents North West Norfolk, switched to supporting Mr Johnson after Dominic Raab was knocked out of the leadership race.
He said he had predicted a majority for Mr Johnson of 65pc so was pleased with 66.3pc.
He said: "He now has a really great opportunity, I know he's got the most phenomenal challenges of any peace time minister ever."
Sir Henry said Mr Johnson had a huge amount of talent and intellect, and pointed to his time as London mayor as proof of his successes.
But he warned he must not get bogged down in micromanagement if he was to be successful.
He said he needed "brilliant people in the top jobs" and punted for Mr Truss and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock to be rewarded for their support.
Sir Henry said he would back Ms Truss for chancellor and added: "It would be the best thing to ever happen for Norfolk."
Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk, said he was "very pleased" about the result as he had voted for Mr Johnson.
He said: "Either of them could have done the job very well but in the present situation, I think Boris is the best person for the task."
He said: "My main concern is we need to get rid of the issue of Brexit as soon as possible, there are many other things we want to talk about, for example housing is a very big issue, and Boris is aware of it as I've spoken to him about it. There is simply not enough housing."
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said he thought Mr Johnson's victory speech was "a really good, strong positive speech".
Asked about the result and if he thought it would be such a landslide victory, he said: "Well, we always thought we would have a good turn out.
"I think Conservative members understood the solemnity of the duty they had. They showed that in the way that they turned out at the hustings - asked great, diverse, interesting - sometimes tricky - questions as well.
"And that's been really good, and I think it has been a great sign for the party to be able to give the new leader a really good, clear mandate."
Quizzed on his cabinet predictions, Mr Lewis laughed and said: "I've always found predictions are a dangerous thing to do."
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