Five con­tenders jos­tle for Bri­tish PM role, Boris John­son pulls out of race

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

LONDON—Five con­tenders emerged Thurs­day in the race to be­come the next prime min­is­ter of Bri­tain fol­low­ing David Cameron’s de­ci­sion to quit.

But there was shock when for­mer London mayor Boris John­son, a po­ten­tial fa­vorite to win the key to 10 Down­ing Street, an­nounced he would not be a con­tender.

When a noon dead­line for names to be put for­ward ar­rived, five lead­ing politi­cians were in the ring. Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May has emerged as a fa­vorite to be­come the next leader of the Con­ser­va­tive Party.

Cameron re­signed hours after it was an­nounced that the Brexit side had won the na­tional ref­er­en­dum to de­ter­mine Bri­tain’s fu­ture mem­ber­ship of the EU.

Re­main sup­porter May is joined in the race by Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Michael Gove, one of the keys lead­ers in the Leave cam­paign.

Stephen Crabb, who be­came the first Con­ser­va­tive to de­clare he would stand, is in­cluded in the slate, along with Dr Liam Fox and An­drea Lead­som.

Lead­som, a lead­ing Leave sup­porter, is in Cameron’s cabi­net as En­ergy Sec­re­tary. Crabb, the Work and Pen­sions Sec­re­tary in the cabi­net, has put him­self for­ward as a “blue col­lar” can­di­date, cit­ing his up­bring­ing in a mod­est coun­cil house. Fox, a for­mer de­fense sec­re­tary, was also a sup­porter of Brexit.

An elec­tion process will now be car­ried out, with thou­sands of Con­ser­va­tive Party mem­bers across the coun­try vot­ing for their choice among the five.

The win­ner is ex­pected to be un­veiled at the party con­fer­ence in early Oc­to­ber. Cameron is re­main­ing in of­fice un­til his suc­ces­sor is of­fi­cially cho­sen.

Bosses at London’s Heathrow Air­port will have breathed a sigh of re­lief at the de­ci­sion by for­mer London Mayor Boris John­son not to stand in the lead­er­ship race. He had been a fierce op­po­nent of a third run­way at Heathrow, once fa­mously say­ing he would “lie in front of the bull­doz­ers to stop it.”—Xin­hua

Michael Gove and Theresa May lead the field as Boris John­son bows out.

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