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Race for PM Begins With Boris Johnson in the Lead

Candidates angle to replace Theresa May
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2019 4:10 PM CDT
Boris Johnson has been foreign secretary and mayor of London.   (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

(Newser) – Hours after Theresa May announced that she'll be resigning as Britain's prime minister, Boris Johnson leads the Conservative Party pack to replace her. Johnson is a champion of Brexit who quit May's cabinet last year over her handling of the issue. He's been foreign secretary and mayor of London, and he's been praised by President Trump. USA Today cites a new poll that shows Johnson has more support among voters than any other candidate. But he'll have competition: Several candidates began angling for the job immediately, the Wall Street Journal reports. Michael Gove, who's minister for the environment, is another leading possibility.

Johnson is a celebrity whose fame will be tough for his rivals to match. He waved a Union Jack onstage at the close of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and appeared on David Letterman's show, per the Journal. He once told USA Today that he was about as likely to become prime minister as Elvis was to be found on Mars. When he worked as a journalist, he was fired for making up a quote. His rhetoric has been thought to be the political end of him before; he once had to apologize to the nation of Papua New Guinea. Trump's a fan who's said Johnson would make "a great prime minister." Johnson has praised Trump, as well, though he did once say the president is "clearly out of his mind." Johnson was born in New York to British parents, but renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2016 when the IRS was cracking down on the income of dual citizens. (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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