Johnson favourite in race to succeed May as British PM

Michael Gove the Environment Secretary

Michael Gove the Environment Secretary

In 2016, 17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union - not because they wanted us to pursue an isolationist future, but because they were filled with hope; hope and optimism that, free from the backward-looking and undemocratic institution that is the EU, the United Kingdom would be able to thrive by controlling its own destiny.

"It needs to happen by October 31, and we need to get on and do it", he told BBC radio.

It is thought that Home Secretary Sajid Javid - who secured 23 votes in the ballot on Thursday - may seek Mr Hancock's backing.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has pulled out of the race to be Britain's next prime minister, but declined to throw his weight behind another candidate. Mr Hunt, who emerged a distant second in the first round of the Tory vote, said: "We can only have that debate if our frontrunner in this campaign is a little bit braver in terms of getting out into the media, engaging in debates, engaging in the TV debate".

Mr Johnson's spokesman has said his client is "in discussions" with broadcasters. "I'm more than happy to do the BBC TV debate on Tuesday".

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In the light of a personal encounter with Mr Johnson I should like to appeal to local members of the Tory party, who will shortly be voting for their party leader.


"I'll be talking to all the other candidates, and see how best we can promote those values [I care about]".

Johnson, a former foreign secretary, won Thursday's ballot with 114 votes, more than the next three candidates combined.

Hancock came sixth out of the seven to make it through to a second round on Tuesday next week, when at least one more candidate will drop out.

Johnson says he's determined to deliver on the 2016 referendum result and take Britain out of the European Union by the deadline of October 31, even if that means leaving without a deal.

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Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be Britain's prime minister, promised he would take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by October 31, saying that only by preparing to leave without an agreement could a no-deal Brexit be prevented.

The final pair will then be put to a nationwide vote where party members will select their candidate of choice to replace May as both head of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

One senior Gove supporter told i that the Environment Secretary would "nail" the final slot to run against Mr Johnson as he was a "serious Brexiteer with a proper plan to deliver Brexit".

Fellow leadership contender Dominic Raab, a former Brexit Secretary, called for a "proper debate", saying: "I'm looking forward to the first televised debates on Sunday and I hope that everyone gets involved - we should have a proper debate on the vision for the country".

Parliament has indicated it will try to stop a no-deal Brexit, which investors warn would hurt financial markets and shock the world economy.

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