Boris Johnson is Tories’ top choice to succeed PM


LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May is facing fresh speculation about her political future after polling found Tory members want her to quit after Brexit, putting Boris Johnson as the top choice to take over. As the Prime Minister prepares for the Conservatives’ annual conference, the Foreign Secretary was backed by 23% of party members to take over, followed by Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson on 19%.

MANCHESTER: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson addresses Conservative Annual Conference

High-profile backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has was branded “extreme” after expressing opposition to abortion in all circumstances, including rape and incest, came in third on 17%, in the YouGov poll.

Mr Johnson has enjoyed a resurgence in support after releasing a Brexit blueprint in a move that was viewed to have boxed in the Prime Minister ahead of her speech in Florence. Brexit Secretary David Davis was backed by just 11% of Tories, falling from the top spot in July.

Some 38% of party members want Mrs May to quit after Britain leaves the European Union in 2019, despite her vow to take the party into the 2022 general election.

While 29% Tories want her to contest the next national poll, 5% believe she should quit immediately, 8% chose next year and 13% said she should step down just before the vote.

Joe Twyman, head of political and social research at YouGov, said: “The question of who will take over from Theresa May and when is likely to dominate the Conservative Party Conference. “Our survey of Conservative party members shows that it is the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, who receives the highest leadership rating.