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Boris Johnson favourite in race to be new Conservative Party leader

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By Philip Pangalos
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Boris Johnson favourite in race to be new Conservative Party leader
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Boris Johnson is ready for the big battle. The race to find the new leader of the Conservative Party is on, with Boris Johnson thought to be favourite among the candidates to lead the Tory party.

One of his biggest rivals, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, appears to be entering the leadership contest dynamically, with Brexit at the centre of his campaign.

"The leadership I offer is based on one simple truth. Without Brexit there will be no Conservative government and maybe no Conservative Party. Whoever delivers Brexit will win the next election for the Conservative Party. But without Brexit, no Conservative Prime Minister can win," said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is adopting a tougher stance, making it clear that the United Kingdom will be ready to leave the European Union on October 31st, even without a deal.

"We suffered a loss of nerve. We need new leadership and that leadership needs to be bold, infused with some of that stubborn optimism. We can't just keep limping on like this, without a clear sense of direction, without a clear sense of purpose. The tired approach that got us into this mess is not going to get us out of it," said former foreign secretary Dominic Raab.

It was a tough start for another candidate for the Tory leadership, after Michael Gove admitted to having used cocaine many years ago, when he was working as a journalist.

Sam Gyimah, the only candidate who was in favour of a new referendum, announced that he was withdrawing from the Tory Party leadership race.

To take part in the leadership race, candidates must have the support of at least 8 MPs. The first round will be held on June 13 and those who are not excluded will go into the next round, which will take place on June 18. There will be a series of votes in the coming days after which the remaining candidates will be whittled down to two. The procedure to elect the new leader of the Conservative Party will begin on June 22 and won't be completed until July 22.

Whoever wins will only have a small grace period, as was the case with Theresa May, and not forgetting that the burden of leadership is great, and often peppered with frustration and lament.