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UK's new prime minister moves into Number 10

By Earle Gale | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-25 09:23

Boris Johnson sets out his vision for future on first day as national leader

Boris Johnson began the task of forming the United Kingdom's next government on Wednesday after his comfortable victory over rival Jeremy Hunt in the race to replace Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and Britain's prime minister.

The Oxford-educated one-time journalist and former mayor of London officially took over the reins after an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, becoming the 14th person to serve as UK prime minister since she was crowned in 1952.

The BBC said Johnson's priority will be to put together a team that will reflect "modern Britain" and that will include more women and more people from ethnic minorities, as well as one that will unite his divided party.

He is expected to continue making appointments to his Cabinet for several days, including for the crucial position of finance minister following the resignation of Philip Hammond on Wednesday, who stood down in protest at Johnson's Brexit stance.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Johnson praised May for her "fortitude and patience" and for her "deep sense of public service" but said he will now focus on not only Brexit but on improving social care, education, and law and order.

"The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts," he said while praising British values and insisting that a favorable deal with the EU is still possible.

"Do not underestimate our country," he added.

May, meanwhile, formally tendered her resignation to the queen after her final Prime Minister's Questions, during which MPs, both friends and foes alike, thanked her for her efforts and wished her well.

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