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21.06.2019 Europe

By jove, Gove's out! Johnson and Hunt vy for UK top job

REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
LISTEN JUN 21, 2019
REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Former London mayor Boris Johnson will vy for the role of British Prime Minister against Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt after British Environment Secretary Michael Gove was narrowly eliminated in the final MP vote on Thursday.

Conservative Members of Parliament filled out a fifth ballot late Thursday as Johnson, the frontrunner, gained 160 votes, while Hunt garnered 77 and Gove a close 75.

Hunt called himself "the underdog" on social media, but has promised to deliver Brexit.

Although British pundits asserted that with Johnson's wide lead in each round of balloting he would do a deal with the second place winner to become prime minister, it was announced that the 160,000 Conservative members will vote for who fills the next top job.

British television station ITV announced that Johnson and Hunt would go head-to-head in a televised debate scheduled for 9 July. Johnson said on social media he was looking forward to "a debate of ideas".

The voter's choice will decide who takes over from caretaker Prime Minister Theresa May in late July.

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