(EFE).- Boris Johnson is set to become the United Kingdom’s new prime minister after he won the Conservative Party leadership contest on Tuesday.

The former foreign secretary, who was widely expected to win the leadership race, is set to officially become prime minister on Wednesday once Theresa May has notified Queen Elizabeth II of her resignation.

Johnson beat his rival, current foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt by a margin of 92,153 votes to 46,656, Dame Cheryl Gillan, the co-chair of the party’s parliamentary group, told the crowd gathered at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, near the Houses of Parliament.

In his victory speech, Johnson began by acknowledging his varying popularity in the party, saying: “I know that there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision, and there may even be some people here who still wonder quite what they have done.”

He went on to say he had three priorities taking office: to “deliver, unite and defeat.”

He pointed out that the slogan made the acronym “dud” until you added the final element, “energize,” which, in fact, made it “dude.”

Johnson said: “I say to all the doubters: ‘dude’ we are going to energize the country, we are going to get Brexit done on October 31, we are going to take advantages of all the opportunities it will bring in a new spirit of ‘can do’ and we are once again going to believe ourselves and like a slumbering giant we are going to ping off the guy-ropes of self-doubt.”

Around 159,320 Conservative Party cardholders decided the UK’s next PM, a turnout of 87.4 percent.

He is to confirm his new role on Wednesday before giving a speech to the nation outside 10 Downing Street, the PM’s official residence in London.

The former London Mayor will then outline his new cabinet.

Johnson backed the Leave campaign in the run-up to the Brexit referendum in June 2016.

He splits opinion in his party and several Tory ministers have or have threatened to resign to avoid his leadership, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond. EFE

The Madrid Desk contributed to this story

© 2019 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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