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23 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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UK LEADERSHIP

Johnson hits more turmoil on last voting day

AFP, London

Britain's leadership contest entered its finale yesterday with the favourite Boris Johnson facing more defections from ministers over his Brexit plan. The month-long contest between former London mayor Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is being decided by fewer than 200,000 grassroots members of the governing Conservative Party.

The winner will have three months to resolve a three-year Brexit crisis that could damage economies on both sides of the Channel and determine the fate of generations of Britons. The voting window shuts at 5 pm (1600 GMT). The new party leader will be announced on Tuesday and take over as prime minister on Wednesday.

Both candidates have had a rocky end to a campaign whose closing stages are being waged against a backdrop of a high-stakes standoff with Iran in the Gulf. Finance Secretary Philip Hammond announced Sunday that he would make a point of resigning before Johnson becomes prime minister because of his threat to take Britain out of the EU by an October 31 deadline without a deal.

Pro-EU Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan announced Monday that he was also quitting “in anticipation of the change on Wednesday”.

“It is tragic that just when we could have been the dominant intellectual and political force throughout Europe, and beyond, we have to spend every day working beneath the dark cloud of Brexit,” he wrote in his resignation letter to outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

London newspapers were filled with speculation that at least a half-dozen lower-ranking ministers may also jump ship over the coming days.

But Johnson doubled-down on his pledge to take Britain safely out of the EU with the help of a new technological fix for avoiding a hard border with EU member Ireland.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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