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Boris Johnson to be appointed new UK PM after Conservative Party votes

July 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson [Andreas Gebert / Anadolu Agency]

Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has today been named the UK’s new prime minister, replacing Theresa May who stepped down two months ago.

Johnson received 92,153 votes to lead the Conservative Party, double those received by his opponent Jeremy Hunt. He will officially take office tomorrow after a meeting with the Queen.

The new PM is moving in to Number 10 at a time of rising tensions with Iran, after a British-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iran in response to the UK’s seizure of one of Tehran’s tankers.

Before the results of the Conservative Party leadership vote were released, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif sent a message to Johnson saying Iran is not seeking confrontation with the UK.

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He said: “It is very important for Boris Johnson as he enters 10 Downing Street to understand that Iran does not seek confrontation, that Iran wants normal relations based on mutual respect.”

Johnson is an ally of US President Donald Trump, and a staunch supporter of Israel having previously described himself as “a passionate Zionist” and “a supporter of Israel”.

He has almost always voted for military action abroad, including more recent air strikes in Syria, and the legally dubious Iraq war in 2003.

On accepting 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian refugee minors, he cautioned that Britain “ must not become a magnet or a pole of attraction for economic rights.”