Some Brits Are Really Unhappy About Their Next PM

Thousands march against no-deal exit as Cabinet members plan to leave
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2019 9:14 AM CDT
Some Brits Are Really Unhappy About Their Next PM
A blimp depicting Boris Johnson is launched in Parliament Square, ahead of a pro-European Union march organised by March for Change, in London on Saturday.   (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

As Boris Johnson moves closer to becoming prime minister of the UK, opposition to the pro-Brexit candidate has become more visible and vocal. The race to succeed Theresa May is down to Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who followed Johnson as foreign secretary. The ruling Conservative Party will announce voting results Tuesday; Wednesday is May's last day on the job. Johnson is the heavy favorite, and what would follow his installation is more uncertain than usual when a party keeps control but changes leaders. Over the weekend, the volume has turned up:

  • A "No to Boris, Yes to Europe" demonstration marched through London on Saturday, Al Jazeera reports. Thousands marched, and a "Boris blimp" floated over Parliament Square, much like the "Baby Trump" balloon used in recent protests. The Boris blimp wore a T-shirt with the amount of £350 million printed on it; that's what Johnson and his allies said will be saved weekly on health care after the UK leaves the EU, which has been called misleading.
  • Britain's chancellor said he's out if Johnson is elected. Philip Hammond said he'll give his resignation to May on Wednesday, per the BBC. Johnson has left a no-deal Brexit on the table, and Hammond called that "not something I could ever sign up to." David Gauke, the justice secretary, said he, too, will leave before Johnson takes office, per PoliticsHome. A no-deal Brexit, Gauke said, would be "a national humiliation." Johnson has said he'll fire any Cabinet members who won't support a no-deal exit, per the Independent.

  • Johnson's family, prominent in politics and media, is dealing with Brexit issues of its own, per the New York Times. His siblings have backed remaining in the EU, and publicly disagreed with Johnson on other issues, but have applauded his speeches lately. His father and a brother flopped and now support Brexit. "I love Boris as a brother, but I don’t want to talk about his day job," Leo Johnson, a radio show host, once said. "There are various tensions going on," a biographer says, and siblings have been "aghast" at some of Boris Johnson's stances.
  • A smoked herring fillet says a lot about Johnson's rise, the Washington Post reports. He waved it over his head during a speech about the horrors of the EU, saying the packaging required includes a "plastic ice pillow." That's a UK rule, not an EU rule, but the speech was still a hit. The Post notes that Johnson, who began his career as a journalist, "has a loose relationship with the truth."
(More Boris Johnson stories.)

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