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Boris Johnson wins Tory contest to become UK prime minister

Boris Johnson has been crowned leader of the Conservative party and will become prime minister on Wednesday, facing perhaps the most daunting political challenges of any British leader in peacetime.

Mr Johnson beat Jeremy Hunt in the race to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader, securing 92,153 votes to the foreign secretary’s 46,656.

The former London mayor will enter Downing Street at about 4pm on Wednesday and will immediately be confronted by the challenge of uniting his divided party and charting a course out of the Brexit impasse.

Mr Johnson, one of the leading figures in the 2016 referendum campaign to leave the EU, has promised to deliver Brexit “do or die” on October 31 — Britain’s scheduled departure date from the EU. But Brussels has signalled it will not accept his proposed changes to Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal while senior Tory cabinet ministers are leading resistance to a no deal exit.

Mrs May will stay as prime minister for another 24 hours and will take questions in the House of Commons for the last time at midday on Wednesday. She will then make a farewell speech in Downing Street before tendering her resignation to the Queen.

Mr Johnson is expected to arrive at Buckingham Palace shortly afterwards to assume the seals of office and will make his own speech in Downing Street at around 4pm on Wednesday.