Boris Johnson increased his lead Tuesday in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister as one of his rivals was eliminated in a party vote, while upstart candidate Rory Stewart defied expectations to stay in the contest. Boris Johnson, a flamboyant former foreign secretary, won 126 of the 313 votes cast Tuesday in a second-round ballot of Conservative Party lawmakers that left five contenders standing. The total all but guarantees that Johnson will be one of the candidates in a runoff that will be decided by party members. Dominic Raab, who tried to vie with Johnson for the votes of committed Brexit supporters, got only 30 votes Tuesday, three short of the threshold needed to go through to the next round. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Stewart all remain contenders in what is now effectively a race for second place and a runoff spot. All five candidates were taking part in a live television debate on Tuesday evening, two days after Johnson skipped another televised debate despite being the front-runner. Tory lawmakers will vote again Wednesday and Thursday, eliminating at least one candidate each time. The final two contenders will go to a postal ballot of all 160,000 Conservative Party members nationwide. The winner, due to be announced in late July, will replace Theresa May as both party leader and British prime minister. Theresa May stepped down as party leader earlier this month after failing to secure Parliament’s approval for her
Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister, said he would withhold a previously agreed 39 billion pound Brexit payment until the European Union gives Britain better exit terms. The EU has repeatedly said it will not reopen discussion of the Brexit transition deal it reached with May last year, which British lawmakers have rejected three times, prompting May to announce her resignation earlier this month. May stepped down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday. Johnson, a former foreign secretary in May’s cabinet, is popular with ordinary Conservative Party members, who will decide between the two candidates who come top in a series of votes by Conservative lawmakers over the coming weeks. “I always thought it was extraordinary that we should agree to write that entire cheque before having a final deal. In getting a good deal, money is a great solvent and a great lubricant,” Boris Johnson told the Sunday Times. Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31. If Parliament does not approve a deal – and the government does not ask the EU for another delay – there risks being major economic disruption from a disorderly departure. The 39 billion pounds represents outstanding British liabilities to the EU, which would be paid over a number of years according to the withdrawal agreement negotiated by May. Johnson also said border arrangements with Ireland should be settled only as part of a long-term agreement, rejecting a “backstop” which would
Michael Gove, a leading contenders to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May, said he would delay Brexit rather than rush into a no-deal exit that could trigger an election that would propel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to power. The United Kingdom could be heading towards a constitutional crisis over Brexit as many of the candidates vying to succeed May are prepared to leave the EU on Oct. 31 without a deal but parliament has indicated it will try to thwart such a scenario. Nearly three years since the United Kingdom voted 52%-48% to leave the EU, the ruling Conservative Party had its worst result in centuries in a European election last month, and opinion polls indicate a snap election would produce a hung parliament. Gove, who scuppered the 2016 leadership bid of former foreign minister Boris Johnson by withdrawing his support at the last moment to run himself, said he would seek a further delay to Brexit if efforts to renegotiate the deal were close to a breakthrough. “Would it really be in our best interests to opt for a no-deal exit when just a little more time and effort could make all the difference?” Michael Gove said in an article in the Daily Mail newspaper. Other contenders – including Johnson, Andrea Leadsom, Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid – have said they would seek to negotiate a deal but, if that were not possible, they would then lead the world’s fifth largest economy out of the EU without any agreement.
President Donald Trump read from a prayer delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he joined other world leaders and veterans Wednesday in marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Roosevelt went on national radio on June 6, 1944, to address the U.S. for the first time about the Normandy invasion. Trump, with images of an American flag and Roosevelt projected behind him, read to the crowd: “Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day, have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion and our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.” Trump traveled to the southern coast of England Wednesday to pay respects to American service members and allies who helped rescue Europe from Nazi Germany. He sat in a VIP area with other world leaders and in between Queen Elizabeth II and first lady Melania Trump during the program, which focused on a telling of events leading up to D-Day. Some 300 World War II veterans also attended the seaside ceremony. A chilly breeze blew as Trump arrived for the event, the first of two he is attending to mark the 75th anniversary of the day when Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen conducted an invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. Trump joined in giving a standing ovation to a group of World War II vets who appeared on stage as the commemoration began. He was the second world leader to speak, following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in
Queen Elizabeth II and world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump gathered Wednesday on the south coast of England to honor the troops who risked and sacrificed their lives 75 years ago on D-Day, a bloody but ultimately triumphant turning point in World War II. Across the Channel, American and British paratroopers dropped into northwestern France and scaled cliffs beside Normandy beaches, recreating the daring, costly invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi occupation. With the number of veterans of World War II dwindling, the guests of honor at an international ceremony in Portsmouth were several hundred men, now in their 90s, who served in the conflict — and the 93-year-old British monarch, also a member of what has been called the “greatest generation.” The queen, who served as an army mechanic during the war, said that when she attended a 60th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day 15 years ago, many thought it might be the last such event. “But the wartime generation — my generation — is resilient,” she said, striking an unusually personal note. “The heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten,” the monarch said. “It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country — indeed the whole free world — that I say to you all, thank you.” Several hundred World War II veterans, aged 91 to 101, attended the ceremony in Portsmouth, the English port city from where many of the troops embarked for Normandy on June 5,