Backstory: UK Conservative Party on long road to pick next Prime Minister

skynews-boris-johnson-jeremy-hunt_4698484
Around 160,000 Conservative members will choose the next PM

The remaining contenders will audition in front of the Conservative grassroots by taking part in 16 hustings events across the UK.

21 June 2019 | Greg Heffer | Sky News

Conservative MPs have chosen the final two candidates in the party’s leadership race, with Tory members now to decide between Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt.

What happens now?

There are around 160,000 Conservative Party members who will each get a vote in the final round of the Tory leadership contest.

The postal ballot will take place over the next month, with members having until the week beginning 22 July to submit their voting papers.

As members make their choices, Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt will audition in front of the party’s grassroots by taking part in 16 hustings events in every region of the UK.

This will begin in Birmingham on Saturday 22 June and will see the candidates each individually make their case to members and answer questions.

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Watch: Tory leadership race: Johnson vs Hunt

 

Conservative officials revealed they have so far received more than 20,000 applications in total to attend the various hustings events.

The other hustings will take place on 22, 26, 27, 28, 29 June and 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 17 July.

There will also be further TV debates between the final two candidates, with a head-to-head contest being hosted by ITV on 9 July.

Sky News is also planning a debate.

Johnson or Hunt – who do Tory members prefer?

As well as his greater popularity among Tory MPs – of whom he is supported by more than half – Mr Johnson is also the favoured candidate among Tory members.

A recent survey by the influential ConservativeHome website revealed Mr Johnson was the preferred next leader by 62% of those party members asked.

By contrast, Mr Hunt was the choice of 11% of respondents.

Similarly, other recent research by the website revealed Mr Johnson beat Mr Hunt by 72% to 26% in a head-to-head choice, with the remaining respondents not choosing either.

When will the result – and the identity of the new PM – be known?

The next Conservative Party leader is due to be announced in the week beginning 22 July.

This will then see Theresa May head to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen and formally resign as prime minister.

Mrs May will also recommend the Queen appoint the new Tory leader as her new prime minister, who will then be invited for their own audience at the palace.

Once in place in 10 Downing Street, the new prime minister will have only a few days in charge before parliament breaks up for its summer recess on 25 July.

During this short time, it is possible the new Tory leader could face a House of Commons vote to prove they command the confidence of a majority of MPs.

After recess, MPs will return to Westminster on 3 September, with the Conservative Party conference due to take place in Manchester from 29 September.

However, it’s far from likely to be a quiet summer for the new Tory leader, with negotiations with the EU over Brexit – as well as discussions with the DUP to review the confidence-and-supply agreement – waiting in their in-tray.


Original Link: Tory leadership contest: How will party members choose between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt?

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