Boris Johnson has been named as the next British prime minister. The election, which pitted him against Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt of the Conservative Party, was the first time that a party’s membership directly chose the prime minister. The membership of the Conservative Party who voted for Johnson represents just 0.13% of the British population and is whiter, older and, obviously, more conservative. Johnson thanked outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May at a Conservative Party meeting in London where his win was announced.
Boris Johnson: “It was a privilege to serve in her Cabinet and to see the passion and determination that she brought to the many causes that are her legacy, from equal pay for men and women to tackling the problems of mental health and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Thank you, Theresa.”
Johnson vowed to bring a “new spirit of can-do” to his party and promised to defeat Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn tweeted, “Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers’ friend, and pushing for a damaging No Deal Brexit.” President Trump, meanwhile, congratulated Johnson and said he will be “great” as prime minister.
This comes as the U.K. is facing mounting tensions with Iran. Jeremy Hunt recently announced plans to deploy a European-led naval force in the Strait of Hormuz following Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker in what Britain has called an act of “state piracy.” Iranian state TV aired footage of the crew captured on board the Stena Impero Monday. That capture was done in retaliation for Britain capturing an Iranian oil tanker and holding it in Gibraltar.