Boris Johnson is going to be the next UK prime minister

Boris Johnson has won the race to become the UK's next prime minister.

He finished ahead of his rival, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, in the Conservative Party leadership contest with a convincing lead.

Mr Johnson was announced as the winner at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster. About 160,000 Conservative Party members voted.

He will officially become prime minister on Wednesday after a visit to the Queen where she will formally ask him to form a Government.

Boris Johnson has been named Tory leader and Prime Minister (Picture: PA/Getty)
Jeremy Hunt reacts after the announcement of Boris Johnson as Britain's next Prime Minister (Picture: Reuters)

The result was announced by Dame Cheryl Gillan, from the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee.

Mr Johnson won 92,153 votes compared to Mr Hunt’s 46,656. The turnout was 87.4%.

Mr Johnson said it was an "extraordinary honour and privilege" to be elected Tory leader.

In his victory speech, Mr Johnson thanked Tory members for the “extraordinary honour and privilege you have just conferred on me”.

He said it was not irreconcilable to remain close with the EU and to deliver Brexit, adding: "I think we know that we can do it and that the people of this country are trusting in us to do it and we know that we will do it."

Mr Johnson joked that he will go from being a “DUD” to a “DUDE”.

He said: "I know some wag who has already pointed out that deliver, unite and defeat was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign since unfortunately it spells dud.

"But they forgot the final E my friends, E for energise.

"And I say to all the doubters, 'Dude we are going to energise the country, we are going to get Brexit done on October 31, we are going to take advantage of all the opportunities that it will bring in a new spirit of can do'.

Jeremy Hunt (left) congratulates Boris Johnson at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London where he was announced as the new Conservative party leader, and will become the next Prime Minister (Picture: PA)

As the result was announced, many of those outside the Queen Elizabeth II Centre could be seen huddled around phones and devices watching the broadcast.

With Mr Johnson anointed as the next prime minister, campaigners began chanting “hey, hey Boris J give us the People’s Vote today” with some sporadic cheers in support of him.

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The outcome follows weeks of campaigning in which the country has been given a glimpse of what a government led by Mr Johnson may look like.

Mr Johnson won the support of Conservative Party members on a pledge to take the UK out of the European Union by the end of October, even if that means a no-deal Brexit.

He has also vowed to get tough on crime, promising to bring 20,000 more police officers on to the streets of Britain in the next three years.

Mr Johnson’s victory is expected to lead to a number of cabinet resignations from Tory MPs who refuse to back a no-deal Brexit.

And that will be Mr Johnson’s main challenge, uniting his party and the country around a Brexit strategy.

During his campaign, he refused to rule out suspending Parliament in order to push through a no-deal Brexit.

But MPs voted last week to block any suspension between October 9 and December 18.

Boris Johnson's share of the vote - 66.4% - is slightly lower than the share won by David Cameron in the 2005 Conservative leadership election (67.6%).

REACTION TO THE RESULT:

Theresa May congratulated her successor on Twitter immediately after his election was announced.

She said he has her full support from the back benches.

Mr Hunt tweeted his congratulations to Mr Johnson, saying he will be a “great” prime minister.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was, unsurprisingly, more critical of his new opposite number, pointing out Mr Johnson’s questionable mandate.

Green party leader and MP for Brighton, Caroline Lucas, said: "Around 100,000 Tory party members have inflicted on us a prime minister with a record of bigotry, racism, lying and incompetence.

"This is not democracy This is not in our name."

Brexit party leader Nigel Farage said: "I wish Boris Johnson well as Prime Minister with his do or die pledge to deliver Brexit on October 31st.

"Does he have the courage to deliver?"

Donald Trump on the other hand offered his congratulations.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier fired a warning shot, reiterating his desire to get Theresa May’s deal - which Mr Johnson has declared ‘dead’ - through Parliament.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "Congratulations Boris Johnson. Let's put aside our differences and work together to reverse police and Transport for London cuts, invest in affordable homes & secure further devolution to London - which you backed as Mayor.

"But I'll never stop speaking out against the catastrophic threat of Brexit."

New Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said: "Boris Johnson has finally got his hands on the keys to Number 10, but he has shown time and time again that he isn't fit to be the Prime Minister of our country.

Left to right: Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson, sister Rachel Johnson and brother Jo Johnson at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London (Picture: PA)
Conservative party leader Boris Johnson arriving back at his office in Westminster, London, after it was announced that he had won the leadership ballot and will become the next Prime Minister (Picture: PA)

"Whether it is throwing people under the bus or writing a lie on the side of one: Britain deserves better than Boris Johnson.

"If we want to defeat nationalism and populism, we need to give people an alternative vision for our country. It's the Liberal Democrats who can lead the renewal our country needs."

Mr Johnson's father, Stanley, said he was "thrilled" to see his son elected as Tory party leader.

He told PA following the result: "I feel absolutely thrilled, completely thrilled - it was a wonderful, inspiring speech, absolutely to be expected."

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