Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson will become Britain’s next prime minister after he convincingly won a ballot vote of Conservative Party members against Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, it was announced yesterday.
He will replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May today after she announced her resignation last month amid failure to lead the nation out of the European Union.
Johnson, a former Mayor of London, is a fan of America and has defended President Donald Trump, who was one of the first world leaders to congratulate him on his victory. Johnson has also vowed to make Brexit happen in three months, but his first challenge will be the escalating naval crisis with Iran.
British legislator Matthew Offord said yesterday that new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will withdraw the United Kingdom from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the United States left in May 2018, reimposing sanctions lifted under it alongside enacting new financial penalties against the regime.
In a brief speech after winning 66% of the vote, Johnson said: “We know the mantra of the campaign that has just gone by, it is deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn, and that is what we are going to do.”
Johnson has pledged to leave the European Union by October 31 no matter what but has to deal with the same divided Conservative Party and parliament that helped stymie and finally bring down Theresa May.
He may also be handed a “no-confidence vote” and early election within weeks, which would pit him against anti-Semitic Labour Party leader Jeremy Cronin.
In a recent interview with the UK’s Jewish News, Johnson said he is a “passionate Zionist” and that “wild horses wouldn’t keep me away” from visiting the Jewish State as British premier.
Johnson has also pledged to always prioritise protecting religious freedoms, a promise which Open Doors UK has called on him to keep.
Johnson made the pledge of support in a tweet responding to the Bishop of Truro’s report into Christian persecution commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The report recommends that the UK Government impose sanctions on the worst perpetrators of human rights abuses against religious minorities, and that it seek a new United Nations Security Council resolution calling on governments in the Middle East and North Africa to protect religious freedoms.
In his tweet, Johnson also promised that as Prime Minister he would “stand up for those facing persecution”.
Andy Flannagan, head of Christians in Politics, said Johnson needed to show leadership and work on uniting people if Britain was to avoid the kind of polarisation seen in the US.
“We are at a moment in British history when we are badly in need of leadership,” he said.
“Can our next leader bring people together rather than allow or accelerate the slide towards an American-style polarisation of society, where two tribes cannot find an agreed set of facts or shared vocabulary to even begin a conversation? Quite a job. ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
He encouraged people to engage with the issues raised by Brexit face to face rather than on social media.
“Let us pray for him,” he said of Johnson.
“But let us also play our part in being peacemakers and bridge builders. If we are mere consumers of politics we are part of that problem.
“If we become participants we may just meet some folks who disagree with us, and we may just learn, grow and even persuade – and you won’t manage that on social media.”
Johnson has said he will negotiate changes to the withdrawal agreement with the EU or else leave the union “deal or no deal” by the deadline.
His pledges on Brexit have done little to bring opponents onside with his refusal to rule out proroguing Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.
Last week, MPs attempted to scupper any chance of that by voting overwhelmingly in favour of a measure to block the suspension of Parliament in the weeks leading up to the Brexit deadline.
The EU wasted no time on Tuesday saying that the withdrawal deal was not up for negotiation.
As news of Johnson’s victory broke, Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission, told reporters in Brussels that the existing deal was “the best deal possible”.
“A no-deal Brexit, a hard Brexit, would be a tragedy – for all sides, not just for the United Kingdom. We are all going to suffer if that happens,” he said.
“The United Kingdom reached an agreement with the European Union and the European Union will stick to that agreement.”
He added: “We will hear what the new prime minister has to say when he comes to Brussels… This is the best deal possible.”