Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson to stand as next UK Conservative leader


Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gives a speech at the JCB Headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, Britain, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson, Britain’s former foreign minister and a prominent campaigner to leave the European Union, said on Thursday he will be standing as a candidate to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative leader, the BBC reported.

May has said she will step down before the next phase of Brexit negotiations although she has not yet put a date on her departure.

“Of course I’m going to go for it,” Johnson told The British Insurance Brokers’ Association, according to the BBC.

Johnson resigned from the cabinet in July in protest at May’s handling of the exit negotiations.

The face of the 2016 Brexit campaign, Johnson set out his pitch to the membership in a speech at the party’s annual conference in October – some members queued for hours to get a seat.

He called on the party to return to its traditional values of low tax, strong policing and not to follow the policies of the left-wing Labour Party.

Betting odds indicate he is the leading candidate to replace May and has a 28 percent chance of being the next prime minister.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison/Guy Faulconbridge

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