The 10 candidates running to replace Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May face the first round of voting on Thursday — when at least one will get the chop.
Conservative MPs hold their first secret ballot in the governing party’s leadership contest as they begin whittling down the contenders.
All 313 lawmakers can vote and any candidate who does not garner the support of 16 colleagues will drop out. If they all clear that hurdle, the one with the lowest number of votes is knocked out.
May, who remains prime minister, stepped down as party leader on Friday, having failed to deliver her plan for taking Britain out of the European Union after nearly three years in the post.
Bookmakers have ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson as their odds-on favourite to win the contest to replace her.
The former London mayor broke his silence to launch his campaign on Wednesday, saying he would only take Britain out of the EU without a deal as a “last resort” as he promised to unify a country deeply divided over Brexit.
A cross-party effort to block a chaotic end to the 46-year partnership failed on Wednesday, potentially leaving more room for manoeuvre for a future premier.
Johnson said that if parliament blocks Brexit completely, “we will reap the whirlwind and we will face mortal retribution from the electorate”.
– Drugs and backbiting –
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom are considered Johnson’s closest challengers.
The contest so far has been dominated by revelations of past drug-taking by candidates and bickering over the best way to resolve the Brexit impasse.
But Thursday’s voting will reveal each candidate’s current level of support.
The ballot takes place in a Houses of Parliament committee room between 10:00am (0900 GMT) and 12:00pm (1100 GMT), with the results expected to be announced around an hour later.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, former pensions secretary Esther McVey and ex-immigration minister Mark Harper are considered the three most vulnerable to dropping out.
McVey is pursuing a no-deal Brexit, arguing that the agreement struck by May keeps Britain too closely tied to the EU, while Hancock is against no-deal.
Harper says an extension would be needed beyond the October 31 deadline to secure a deal but he would be prepared to leave the European Union without one rather than remain in the bloc.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid launched his campaign on Wednesday, pledging to get a revised version of May’s deal through parliament by October 31.
“We can’t risk going with someone who feels like the short-term, comfort-zone choice,” the interior minister said, recounting his story of growing up in Britain as the son of Pakistani immigrants.
– TV test –
Javid, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab have enough publicly-declared backers to make it through to the second round.
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, the contender most vehemently against leaving the EU without a deal, also hopes to make it past the first hurdle.
The survivors face their first live television debate on Sunday in a 90-minute programme on Channel 4.
They have another round of hustings before Conservative MPs on Monday before Tuesday’s second ballot, when the bar rises from 16 backers to 32, again with the contender with the fewest votes dropping out.
After further rounds of voting next week, the party hopes to be down to the last two by the end of June 20.
After weeks of hustings around the country, the 160,000 grass-roots Conservative party members pick the winner, with the result announced in the week beginning July 22.
May will then step down as prime minister and the new leader of the largest party in parliament will be appointed as PM by Queen Elizabeth II.
Group turned away for trying to deliver baby wipes to children at detention center
An Associated Press report was issued on last week citing inhumane conditions at the U.S. southern border so, naturally, some Americans wanted to help.
According to The Texas Tribune, Austin Savage and five of his friends jumped into an SUV headed toward the border. Their vehicle was stocked with supplies, including over $340 worth of baby wipes, diapers, soap, toys, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene items.
When they arrived at the Clint Border Patrol facility, the group discovered the lobby was closed. Savage recalled that there were eight or 10 Border Patrol agents in the parking lot nearby, but none of them came by to assist the do-gooders.
Trump flips out and threatens ‘obliteration’ after Iran calls him retarded
President Donald Trump on Tuesday angrily hit back at Iran after the nation accused him of being "retarded."
Writing on Twitter, the president accused Iran of making a "very ignorant and insulting statement" against him, which he said "only shows that they do not understand reality."
The president then threatened the nation with "obliteration" if it didn't wise up.
"Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force," he wrote. "In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!"
....Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!
Condo owner sends recording of monkey noises to prospective renter — and repeatedly calls her the N-word
Giulia Ozyesilpinar, the owner and operator of the Ocean Five Condo Hotel in Miami Beach, went on a racist tirade this week against a prospective renter because she didn't promptly respond to her WhatsApp messages.
The Miami New Times reports that London resident Monifah Brown had booked a condo at Ocean Five with some friends who were planning to go with her to a summer vacation in Miami.
However, after booking the condo, Ozyesilpinar sent her messages saying that she was having problems processing her credit cards. After Brown didn't initially respond to those messages, Ozyesilpinar sent her a racist message telling her that she was hurting the reputations of other black people.