PM hopeful Boris Johnson leaves his home in London
PM hopeful Boris Johnson leaves his home in LondonReuters

The UK’s ruling Conservative party is slated to announce the winner of its seven-week internal leadership election on Tuesday, effectively naming outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor, and Britain’s next premier.

The announcement is slated for 11:45 a.m. local time (1:45 p.m. Jerusalem time), with MP Boris Johnson widely expected to defeat long-shot candidate MP Jeremy Hunt.

The American-born Johnson, a former Mayor of London and ex-foreign affairs minister, was an early and vocal supporter of the Brexit bid to pull the UK out of the European Union, and actively campaigned on behalf of “Leave” from 2015 to 2016 ahead of the referendum vote.

Johnson has called for the UK to complete its withdrawal from the European Union by the end of October 2019 – with or without a deal settling the details of Britain’s future relationship with the EU, what has been called a “no-deal Brexit”.

Opposing Johnson is his successor in the foreign office, the incumbent foreign affairs minister Jeremy Hunt.

Hunt has refused to commit to pulling out of the EU in 2019, saying he would favor completing a deal with the EU even if it would require a “few more parliamentary days” beyond the current October 31st deadline.

But Hunt has also tried to reassure Brexiteers within the Conservative party that if there does not appear to be a viable path to a deal which can be accepted by both the EU and the British Parliament, he is prepared to pursue a “no-deal Brexit”.

Incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation as premier on May 24th, after Parliament repeatedly voted down Brexit deals with the EU.

One-hundred-and-sixty thousand Conservative party members were subsequently called upon to select a new party chief – and new premier – in a seven-week voting period which ended on Monday.

After the winner is announced Tuesday, May is expected to hold her final consultations with Parliament before submitting her formal resignation to the Queen on Wednesday.