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October 19, 2019
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Boris Johnson set to become UK’s new PM

LONDON:  Boris Johnson is set to be elected leader of Britain’s governing Conservative Party and the country’s next prime minister on Tuesday.

Johnson is tasked to meet his pledge to deliver Brexit in just over three months time.

Johnson and his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, have spent the last month crisscrossing the country seeking to win over the less than 200,000 Conservative Party members who will choose Britain’s new leader.

Voting closed at 1600 GMT on Monday and the result is due to be announced on Tuesday morning.

The winner will formally take over as prime minister on Wednesday afternoon, succeeding Theresa May, who stepped down over her failure to get parliament to ratify her Brexit deal.

Johnson, a former London mayor who resigned as foreign minister a year ago over May’s Brexit plans, is the clear favorite to replace her, with several polls putting him on around 70 percent.

Johnson will have to deal with the political crisis over Britain’s exit from the European Union. Johnson must persuade the EU to revive talks on a withdrawal deal that it has been adamant cannot be reopened.

The only deal on the table has been rejected three times by parliament and many lawmakers – including pro-EU rebels in the Conservative Party.

He has said he would ramp up preparations for a no-deal to try to force the EU’s negotiators to make changes to the accord.

“We will of course be pushing our plan into action, and getting ready to come out on October 31st, come what may…do or die, come what may,” Johnson told TalkRadio last month.