As Johnson becomes prime minister of Britain




Johnson

The emergence of Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom last week does not only offer a renewed hope and vigour for meeting the October 31 deadline for Brexit but also opens a new vista of relationship between Nigeria and her erstwhile colonialists.

Johnson, who is the former London mayor and foreign secretary, assumed the premiership of Britain with a mandate to lead the U.K. out of the E.U. His predecessor, Theresa May, had failed to secure an acceptable Brexit, leading to her quitting the plum job.

Although there is widespread apprehension as to whether the October 31 Brexit deadline is realisable, Johnson, who assumed office last Wednesday, has promised to secure a better Brexit deal with Brussels than his predecessor, Theresa May, as well as pull the U.K. out of the E.U. by the October 31 deadline, deal or no.

It is instructive that majority of British voters had voted to exit the European Union in a June 23, 2016, national referendum. Consequently, Theresa May was elected as the prime minister to lead the process. However, she was compelled to quit office due to her inability to resolve the impasse over Brexit. She voted to remain in Europe, albeit reluctantly, but had to confront a parliament that was severely divided over a most sensitive issue.

Interestingly, Boris Johnson had hinged his campaign on delivering Brexit, unifying a nation severely divided over Europe, and defeating Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party he led in future elections. Deal or no deal, he vowed to take Britain out of the EU by October 31. It is, therefore, expected that his first 100 days in office will be devoted to delivering Brexit.

Johnson, who is being described as Britain’s most divisive politician, is renowned for his hardline stance on Brexit, which he needed to do in order to win over the Conservative Party membership and become prime minister. It was a strategy that worked, as he got 66 per cent of the votes cast by 160,000 members of the Conservative Party, defeating his more-centrist rival, Jeremy Haunt.

It is also quite significant that Johnson had, within 48 hours of assuming the premiership, dismissed a good number of Theresa May’s cabinet, replacing most of them with hardline Brexiteers.

Born on June 19, 1964, in New York City, New York, U.S., Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is American-born British journalist and Conservative Party politician who became prime minister of the United Kingdom on July 23, 2019. Earlier he served as the second elected mayor of London (2008–16) and secretary of state for foreign affairs (2016–18) under Prime Minister Theresa May.

In 1997 Johnson was selected as the Conservative candidate for Clwyd South in the House of Commons, but he lost decisively to the Labour Party incumbent Martyn Jones. Johnson again stood for Parliament in 2001, this time winning the contest in the Henley-on-Thames constituency.

Johnson entered into the London mayoral election in July 2007, challenging Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone. During the tightly contested election, he overcame perceptions that he was a gaffe-prone and insubstantial politician by focusing on issues of crime and transportation. On May 1, 2008, Johnson won a narrow victory, seen by many as a repudiation of the national Labour government led by Gordon Brown.Early the following month, Johnson fulfilled a campaign promise by stepping down as MP. In 2012 Johnson was reelected mayor, besting Livingstone again. His win was one of the few bright spots for the Conservative Party in the midterm local elections in which it lost more than 800 seats in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Johnson returned to Parliament in 2015, winning the west London seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, in an election that saw the Conservative Party capture its first clear majority since the 1990s. He retained his post as mayor of London, and the victory fueled speculation that he would eventually challenge Prime Minister David Cameron for leadership of the Conservative Party.When Theresa May became Conservative Party leader and prime minister, she named Johnson her foreign secretary. Johnson maintained his seat in the House of Commons in the snap election called by May for June 2017, and he remained foreign secretary when May reshuffled her cabinet after the Conservatives lost their legislative majority in that election and formed a minority government.

In April 2018 Johnson defended May’s decision to join the United States and France in the strategic air strikes that were undertaken against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to evidence that it had again used chemical weapons on its own people. Opposition parties were critical of the May government’s use of force without having first sought approval from Parliament.

Blueprint congratulates the new British prime minister and wishes him success in achieving his key mandate of concluding the Brexit deal. We, however, urge Boris Johnson to foster the existing cordial relations between Nigeria and Britain, particularly on security, the war against corruption, and the economy, which are the pillars on which the Muhammadu Buhari administration is anchored.




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