Boris Johnson has been confirmed as the new leader of the Conservative Party and the next Prime Minister. He will formally replace Theresa May tomorrow, on Wednesday 24 July 2019, when he visits Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen.
Boris Johnson beat Jeremy Hunt following a postal vote of the party’s members by 92,153 votes to 46,656.
Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, has made a statement on the fifth anniversary of the downing of flight MH17. He confirmed that the UK would support the financing of the trial at the Hague and will provide other ongoing assistance.
The Foreign Secretary said:
“A terrible tragedy took place five years ago today when flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. 298 innocent people, including 10 British people, lost their lives. I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those who died.
I support the efforts of the Joint Investigation Team and the Dutch authorities to deliver justice for those who died. This is why we are making a financial contribution of £100,000 to the establishment of the specialist criminal court in the Hague to help ensure that the families and friends of the victims receive answers, and that those responsible are held to account for this appalling crime.
We continue to support Australia and the Netherlands in their call on the Russian government to accept state responsibility for the downing of flight MH17. It is high time Russia cooperated fully with the prosecution and, in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2166, provided any assistance requested.”
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, as well as the two candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, have criticised Donald Trump, the US President, for words he used against four Democrats.
Trump said in reference to four female Democrats:
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”
A spokesperson for Theresa May said:
“Her view is that the language which was used to refer to the women was completely unacceptable.”
Jeremy Hunt said:
“I have three half-Chinese children, and they are British citizens born on the NHS, and if anyone ever said to them ‘go back to China’, I would be utterly appalled. And I would say something else, it is totally un-British to do that and so I hope that would never happen in this country.”
Boris Johnson said:
“Relations between the UK and US are incredibly important. But if you are the leader of a great multiracial, multicultural country you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they came from. It went out decades and decades ago and thank heavens for that. It’s totally unacceptable.”
Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, has issued a statement commemorating the 24th anniversary since the Srebrenica massacre. During the massacre, one of the worst which had taken place since the Second World War, over 8,000 Bosniaks were killed, mostly men and boys.
Hunt said in a statement:
“On this day, 24 years since the Srebrenica massacre, we must honour those who died, their families and their communities, whose lives were cruelly and irreversibly changed.
It is vital that we continue to counter and condemn any efforts to negate the atrocity which took place in Srebrenica.
The UK remains committed to helping the region overcome the legacy of past conflict and to build a more peaceful, prosperous and stable future for all. That must include striving for justice for the victims.
The UK fully supports the work of the IRMCT (International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals) and other organisations in seeking justice, supporting survivors, and aiming to find and identify those still missing as a result of conflict in the region. This year’s historic judgment to strengthen the sentence handed to Karadžić is a just and important reminder that there will be no impunity for those who commit such horrific crimes.”
Major said, when asked by Sackur who he was voting for:
“A ballot is private, but it’s fairly evident from my views that I cannot vote for someone who was part of the Brexit campaign which misled the country. So I shall offer my vote to Jeremy Hunt, and I don’t think anyone will be in any doubt about that.”
When asked about whether the majority of Tories want Brexit, Major said:
“I find it very difficult for any Prime Minister wishing to lead the whole of our country can entirely ignore the views of 48% of people who passionately do not want to see Brexit at all because they believe it is bad for their country. They cannot be ignored, it’s not only wrong constitutionally, I think politically it’s crazy. Those 48% of people are going to remember that they were completely ignored and they will remember that at the next election and for a very long time to come.”
When asked if MPs should back Brexit, Major added:
“Parliamentarians are in an extraordinarily difficult position that we have not seen before. I would guess that 70% to 80% of Parliament believe that Brexit is a disaster, that we should not be leaving Europe and that it’s damaging to our country and damaging to our future. But they feel hamstrung in carrying their conscience and their belief through to action because of the result of the referendum.”
Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, has been summoned to the Foreign Office after comments made by the Chinese Government saying that the British Government had a “colonial mindset”.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Government had said:
“The UK considers itself as a guardian which is nothing but a delusion. It is just shameless to say that Hong Kong’s freedoms are negotiated for them by the British side.”
Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, posted on Twitter:
“Message to Chinese govt: good relations between countries are based on mutual respect and honouring the legally binding agreements between them. That is the best way to preserve the great relationship between the UK and China.”
Jeremy Hunt, one of the two remaining candidates in the Conservative party leadership contest, has said that he would spend an additional £15 billion on defence over the next five years. The proposed rise would mean that defence spending as a percentage of GDP would increase from 2% to 2.5%.
Hunt said in a statement:
“My plan for defence will give our brave troops the backing they need and show the world that when it comes to the new threats to Western values, Britain is back and Britain’s voice will be strong.”
Penny Mordaunt, the Secretary of State for Defence, praised the plan and said:
“The first duty of any prime minister and any government is to protect the United Kingdom and further her interests. The British public want us to have clout in the world. We must give the men and women of our armed forces what they need to do the job we ask of them.”
Sky News have said that Boris Johnson has refused to accept an invitation to appear in a televised debate with Jeremy Hunt, which would have allowed both candidates to make their case to become leader of the Conservative Party.
Sky News said:
“Jeremy Hunt has agreed to take part, but Boris Johnson has so far declined the invitation. We stand ready to host a debate tomorrow evening if both candidates make themselves available.”
A spokesperson for Jeremy Hunt’s campaign team said:
“Whoever wants to be Prime Minister must face up now to the intense scrutiny that comes with the job, anything less is deeply disrespectful to our members. Trying to duck debates and run down the clock until after postal ballots have been returned is just cynical and complacent. Boris Johnson must stop trying to slink into No 10 through the back door and come clean about his programme for government.”
Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, has called on Russia to co-operate with an investigation into those responsible for bringing down aircraft MH17 on 17 July 2014. Hunt’s call came after a report released by the MH17 Joint Investigation Team and the Dutch National Prosecutor, who confirmed that four people will be charged for the crime.
Hunt said in a statement:
“The shooting down of MH17 nearly 5 years ago and the tragic deaths of the 298 people on board, including 10 British people, was a horrific crime. The family and friends of those who died deserve justice. Today marks a significant step towards ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.
The UK offers its support to the prosecution process and has complete confidence in both the Joint Investigation Team and the Dutch criminal justice system. I thank the Joint Investigation Team for their painstaking work to deliver justice for all the victims from 17 different countries who lost their lives that day.
The Russian Federation must now cooperate fully with the prosecution and provide any assistance it requests in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2166. The charges brought against these individuals today show that the international community stands together against the impunity of those responsible for the despicable murder of 298 innocent people.”
Dominic Raab has been knocked out following the second round of voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest. Boris Johnson secured the most votes, but Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Rory Stewart and Sajid Javid have all made it through to the next round.