Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson to stand as next Conservative leader

LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson, the face of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, said on Thursday he will be standing as a candidate to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative leader.

Boris Johnson attends the 2019 British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) conference in Manchester, Britain May 16, 2019, in this handout photo obtained by Reuters on May 16, 2019. COURTESY BIBA 2019 CONFERENCE/Handout via REUTERS

May will set out a timetable for her departure in early June after the latest attempt to get her Brexit deal approved by parliament, meaning a leadership contest is likely to take place during the summer. [nL5N22R6DR}

“I am going for it, of course, I am going for it,” Johnson told the BBC. “I don’t think that is any particular secret to anybody.”

The winner of the leadership contest will automatically become prime minister and will take control of the Brexit process, which has plunged Britain into its worst political crisis since World War Two.

Johnson was widely expected to run for the Conservative leadership in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016 but his campaign collapsed before he announced he was standing when an ally withdrew support amid claims he could not unite the party.

Two weeks later he was made foreign minister, but resigned from the cabinet last July in protest at May’s handling of the exit negotiations.

Johnson has been one of May’s most


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