LEADERS around the world have congratulated incoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson following his election as leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party.
Johnson election as the new Conservative Party and by default as the new British Prime minister will have an impact on Namibia as a member of the British Commonwealth. The hard-line Brexiteer, a former foreign secretary and mayor of London, is set to succeed Theresa May as prime minister on Wednesday.
In the Party ballot he beat Jeremy Hunt comfortably, winning 92,153 votes to his rival’s 46,656.
The former London mayor takes over from Theresa May who officially resigned from the position during May.
In his victory speech, Mr Johnson promised he would “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn”.
Speaking at the Queen Elizabeth II centre in London, he said: “We are going to energise the country.
“We are going to get Brexit done on 31 October and take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring with a new spirit of ‘can do’.
“We are once again going to believe in ourselves, and like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self doubt and negativity.”
Mr Johnson thanked his predecessor, saying it had been “a privilege to serve in her cabinet”. He was Mrs May’s foreign secretary until resigning over Brexit.
The outgoing PM in turn congratulated her successor, promising him her “full support from the backbenches”.
Foreign Secretary Hunt said he was “very disappointed”, but Mr Johnson would do “a great job”. He said he had “total, unshakeable confidence in our country” and that was a valuable quality at such a challenging time.
Mr Hunt added: “It was always going to be uphill for us because I was someone who voted Remain and I think lots of party members felt that this was a moment when you just had to have someone who voted for Brexit in the referendum.
“In retrospect, that was a hurdle we were never able to overcome.”
US President Donald Trump also sent his congratulations to Mr Johnson, tweeting: “He will be great!”
Trump had publicly endorsed Johnson in the race to succeed May, in an interview with the Sun ahead of a visit to the United Kingdom last month.
Also welcoming Johnson, the European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday the bloc was ready to work with the incoming British prime minister for an orderly Brexit.
“We look forward to working constructively with PM Johnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and achieve an orderly Brexit,” Barnier said on Twitter.
“We are ready also to rework the agreed declaration on a new partnership,” he added, referring to the political declaration that accompanies the withdrawal agreement.