Boris Johnson is new UK prime minister - property sector reaction

Boris Johnson is the new prime minister (PM) of the United Kingdom, after winning the Conservative Party leadership contest by a two to one majority.

The MP vowed to ‘deliver Brexit and unite the country' after defeating rival Jeremy Hunt by 92,153 votes to 46,656 – a 66% share of votes cast by around 160,000 party members in a postal ballot.

Welcoming Johnson as PM, the British Property Federation called on his government to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which would see Britain leave the European Union, the single market and the customs union on October 31.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation said: ‘We welcome Boris Johnson as the UK's next prime minister – and the property sector stands ready to work with his government, building on the announcement yesterday of a Built Environment Sector Deal.

‘We also urge Johnson to bring forward, and get agreement to, proposals for an orderly Brexit. The UK must remain open, with the right conditions for investment and trade, to ensure we remain first choice for global talent as a place to live, study and work.’

In his victory speech at the Queen Elizabeth II centre in Westminster on July 23, Johnson said: ‘We are going to get Brexit done on October 31 and take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring with a new spirit of can do,’ he said.

'We are once again going to believe in ourselves, and like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self doubt and negativity.’

But Johnson faces an uphill battle to unite his party. Around six cabinet ministers are expected to resign following his victory. Last weekend, chancellor Philip Hammond became the latest to say he would quit the cabinet, citing Johnson’s promise to go ahead with a no-deal Brexit at Halloween.

Secretary of state for international development Rory Stewart and secretary of state for justice David Gauke are other members of the front bench team who ruled out serving in Johnson’s cabinet.

Meanwhile, in an announcement timed to coincide with Johnson’s victory, EU politicians publicly repeated their determination not to re-open talks on the withdrawal agreement, which May struck with Brussels, but which was rejected three times by MPs, leading to her resignation from Downing Street.

Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice-president said: ‘I think the position of the EU is also clear: the United Kingdom reached an agreement with the European Union and the European Union will stick with that agreement. We will hear what the new prime minister has to say when he comes to Brussels.’

US president Donald Trump was one foreign leader celebrating Johnson’s victory, taking to Twitter to write: ‘Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new prime minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!’

Johnson will become PM on July 24, when Theresa May visits Buckingham Palace to formally resign to the Queen, months after she announced her departure on the steps of No. 10.

 

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