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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 20 October 2021

Boris Johnson is expected to win the Tory leadership today - so what's next?

Queen Elizabeth will officiate the new Tory leader’s appointment at Buckingham Palace – this will be her 13th time appointing a PM.

Image: Jacob King

TODAY IS THE day that the new Tory leader is officially elected, with that person becoming the next British Prime Minister later in the week.

Johnson is expected to take over the reins, having been the clear frontrunner against Hunt since the start of the leadership race.

The announcement will be made at 11am today.

Tomorrow, Theresa May will hold her final session of Prime Minister’s Questions, bringing to an end her three-year tenure which was marked entirely by Brexit.

Afterwards, the new Conservative leader will be called to Buckingham Palace where the Queen will ask him whether he will form a government. This will be Queen Elizabeth’s 13th appointment of a British Prime Minister.

After the new Prime Minister is appointed, the Court Circular will record that “the Prime Minister Kissed Hands on Appointment”. This is not literally the case, according to Buckingham Palace: ”In fact, the actual kissing of hands will take place later, in Council.”

If Johnson becomes Prime Minister, he will have to fill a few Cabinet posts quite quickly: Philip Hammond has said that he’ll resign as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and David Gauke will resign as Justice minister if Johnson is elected. Hammond has said that he could not support a no-deal Brexit, of which Johnson is in support of, which is why he’s resigning.

There’s already been one resignation: the British Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan resigned yesterday ahead of Johnson’s impending appointment. There’s also the threat of ministers resigning who haven’t yet made their intentions public. 

Then what?

On Thursday, the House of Commons breaks for its summer recess, and won’t return until Tuesday 3 September.

Between then and now, the new Prime Minister is expected to be busy building up relations with other world leaders, getting familiar with the immediate threat of Brexit on 31 October, and most importantly, trying to whip up a majority in the fractured House of Commons.

During May’s premiership, she lost her parliamentary majority after calling a snap election in 2017; had several of her ministers resign over her middle-of-the-road Brexit policy; and had around 80 Tory rebels voting against her Brexit deal in the House of Commons, most of whom are members of the European Research Group (the ERG).

The Telegraph has reported that several civil servants have indicated that Boris Johnson’s first official trip as Prime Minister outside of London could be as soon as this Friday, and could involve a tour of the UK.

The same article says that a trip to Dublin is considered to be “risky” for Johnson, given his position on the backstop, which he called “unacceptable” and said should be scrapped.

A G7 meeting is to take place in Biarritz from 24 – 26 August, where the new Prime Minister would be expected to meet with other world leaders. 

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