Newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson arrives at Conservative party HQ in London, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Brexit-hard-liner Boris Johnson, one of Britain’s most famous and divisive politicians, won the race to lead the governing Conservative Party on Tuesday, and will become the country’s next prime minister in a little over 24 hours. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

The Latest: New Zealand set to talk free trade with Johnson

July 23, 2019 - 8:44 pm

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Boris Johnson's victory in the race to become Britain's next prime minister (all times local):

2:25 a.m.

New Zealand says it's ready to begin negotiating a free-trade agreement with Britain when Britain is ready.

Boris Johnson is due to take office as British prime minister on Wednesday and is likely to have many strong Brexit supporters in his administration.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had congratulated Johnson via text message and is sure he will want to discuss the trade negotiations.

Ardern says Johnson already has an excellent relationship with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters after both were responsible for foreign affairs.

She says New Zealand's relationship with the U.K. is important and will remain so irrespective of the outcome of Brexit. She says she'll schedule a formal call with Johnson and anticipates meeting him at the U.N. General Assembly in September.

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11:01 p.m.

Britain's prime minister-elect, Boris Johnson, is putting together his Cabinet, promising it will reflect the diversity of modern Britain.

Johnson is due to take office Wednesday, a day after he won a Conservative Party leadership contest triggered by the resignation of Theresa May.

In a sign he hopes to move beyond the largely white, male and affluent Conservative members who chose him as their leader, Johnson's office says he will include a record number of ethnic-minority lawmakers in his Cabinet and increase the number of women in the most senior jobs.

Former International Development Secretary Priti Patel and Employment Minister Alok Sharma are both set to get senior jobs in what Johnson bills as a "Cabinet for modern Britain."

Many members of his administration will be strong Brexit supporters like Johnson, but he is also likely to include some more pro-EU politicians.

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8:40 p.m.

Boris Johnson, Britain's blustering Brexit campaigner, has been chosen as the U.K.'s next prime minister, with a resounding mandate from the Conservative Party but conflicting demands from a politically divided country.

Johnson is set to become prime minister on Wednesday after winning an election to lead the governing Conservatives. He will have just over three months to make good on his promise to lead the U.K. out of the European Union by Oct. 31.

Famed for his bravado, quips in Latin and blond mop of hair , Johnson easily defeated Conservative rival Jeremy Hunt, winning two-thirds of the votes of about 160,000 party members. He will become prime minister once Queen Elizabeth II formally asks him to form a government, replacing Theresa May.

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5:25 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is looking forward to facing common challenges with Boris Johnson.

The Israeli leader offered "heartfelt congratulations from Jerusalem" on Twitter after Johnson's election Tuesday as the leader of Britain's governing Conservative Party who will succeed Prime Minister Theresa May.

Netanyahu says he looks forward to cooperating "both in facing our common challenges and seizing the opportunities ahead."

Johnson also received applause from the head of Israel's Kibbutz Movement, who said in a statement that the prime minister's time as a volunteer on a kibbutz in 1984 "left him a soft spot for Israel."

Johnson last visited Israel in 2017 as foreign secretary and is widely perceived as having a sympathetic view of Israel.

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4:50 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is congratulating Boris Johnson on his election as leader of Britain's governing party and says she is looking forward to working well with him.

In a tweet on Tuesday, spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer quoted Merkel as saying that "our countries should be linked by a close friendship in the future as well."

Johnson easily defeated Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to win the Conservative Party leadership and is set to succeed Theresa May as prime minister on Wednesday. He has pledged to take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31, with or without a deal.

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3:40 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Britain's next leader, while asking him to minimize Brexit's negative impact on Japanese companies.

The prime minister's office said Abe, in his congratulatory message Tuesday, told Johnson he hoped to closely cooperate with Britain in tackling security, defense and other international issues, while further deepening their countries' bilateral friendship.

Abe expressed high expectations for Britain to lead free and active economy in Europe and the global community, while listening to business interests that includes Japanese companies to mitigate the impact of Brexit.

Abe said Japan hoped to see Britain's orderly exit from the EU based on an agreement, which he said would contribute to minimize Brexit's adverse effect on the world economy and Japanese businesses in Britain.

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3:25 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he believes Turkish-British ties will flourish under Boris Johnson's term as prime minister.

In a message posted on Twitter Tuesday, Erdogan congratulated Johnson who won the campaign for Britain's Conservative Party leadership and is set to replace Theresa May as prime minister.

Erdogan wished Johnson success in his new job and added: "I believe that the Turkey-United Kingdom relations will flourish even more during this new era."

Johnson, who has part Turkish ancestry, received a warm welcome in Turkey in 2016 when he visited as foreign secretary despite the fact that he had based his Brexit campaign on the possibility of Turkey joining the EU and millions of Turks entering Britain. He has also composed an offensive poem about Erdogan.

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2:25 p.m.

European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has congratulated Boris Johnson, the Brexit-hardliner soon to become Britain's next prime minister.

Von der Leyen said Tuesday she was looking forward to a good working relationship with Johnson following his victory in the Conservative Party leadership battle.

With Britain scheduled to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, von der Leyen says, "We have the duty to deliver something which is good for the people of Europe and the United Kingdom."

French President Emmanuel Macron, hosting von der Leyen on her first visit to an EU country since her recent election to replace Jean-Claude Juncker on Nov. 1 as head of the EU's executive commission, said he wants to work "as quickly as possible" with Johnson, not just on European issues but on Iran and international security, subjects in which France is closely linked to Britain and Germany.

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1:55 p.m.

Iran's foreign minister has congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Britain's next prime minister, following Johnson's victory in the Conservative Party's leadership vote.

Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: "I congratulate my former counterpart."

Zarif says Iran isn't seeking confrontation amid the tanker crisis in the Persian Gulf but that it has 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) of coastline. "These are our waters & we will protect them."

Iranian officials have suggested a British-flagged tanker was seized last week in response to Britain's role in seizing an Iranian oil tanker two weeks earlier off the coast of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located on the southern tip of Spain.

Zarif on Tuesday also blamed Theresa May's government for the seizure of the Iranian tanker, describing it as "piracy, pure & simple."

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1:25 p.m.

British business groups are urging new Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson to take immediate action to secure a deal to leave the European Union that signals the country is open to enterprise.

Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry, says Johnson has "no time to waste" in his first 100 days and warned him not to "underestimate the benefits" of a good Brexit deal. She says businesses need a "Brexit deal that unlocks confidence."

The British Chambers of Commerce warned Johnson to avoid a "messy, disorderly Brexit" by the Halloween deadline while Edwin Morgan, the interim director-general of the Institute of Directors, says it is crucial that Johnson "recognizes that this is a daunting time for many firms, and is prepared to back them."

Morgan says "a no deal Brexit would only add to the uncertainty and distract from these challenges, but avoiding a disorderly exit will enable the country to focus on them and move forward to everyone's benefit."

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1:20 p.m.

Germany's main industry lobby group says businesses need to see "implementable decisions" from Boris Johnson's new U.K. government and says any threats from London of a "no-deal" Brexit will backfire.

Joachim Lang, the chief executive of the Federation of German Industries, said in a statement that the withdrawal agreement that British lawmakers have rejected three times stands for "as little friction as possible" in trade and other issues and must not be renegotiated.

He said Tuesday that "business now urgently needs a government in the United Kingdom that makes implementable decisions. Threats from London to leave the EU in a disorderly way are harmful and will come back like a boomerang. They strengthen the damage to business that has already been done."

Johnson has vowed to leave the EU by Oct. 31 with or without a deal.

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1:00 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Boris Johnson will be "great" as Britain's next prime minister.

Trump offered his congratulations to Johnson on Twitter on Tuesday after Johnson won the campaign to become leader of Britain's Conservative Party. He overwhelmingly defeated rival Jeremy Hunt in a vote of party members. Johnson is also set to succeed Theresa May as prime minister on Wednesday.

Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!"

The president had endorsed Johnson to succeed May. Trump has been very critical of May's inability to achieve a Brexit deal and has said Johnson will do a better job.

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12:40 p.m.

Outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to give "full support" to her successor, Boris Johnson.

May tweeted her congratulations to Johnson after he was elected Tuesday as the new Conservative Party leader.

"We now need to work together to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole UK and to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of government," she said, referring to the opposition leader.

May plans to remain in Parliament. She told Johnson he would have "my full support from the back benches."

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12:35 p.m.

Michel Barnier, the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, says he looks forward "to working constructively" with Boris Johnson, who has been elected leader of Britain's Conservative Party and will become prime minister on Wednesday.

Barnier said he's looking to push through the ratification of the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May, but said nothing about Johnson's claim that the deal must be renegotiated.

Barnier said the EU would be willing to adapt a political text which goes alongside the withdrawal agreement.

EU leaders have long said that they won't reopen the 585-page legal text.

"We are ready also to rework the agreed Declaration on a new partnership," said Barnier.

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12:20 p.m.

Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson says as prime minister he will "deliver Brexit, unite the country" and defeat the Labour opposition.

In a brief speech Tuesday meant to rally the party faithful, Johnson sought to radiate optimism following his victory and promised to deliver Brexit. 

Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal

But Parliament has signaled it is determined to prevent him from taking the U.K. out of the 28-nation bloc without a withdrawal agreement.

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12:05 p.m.

Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson has won the race to lead Britain's governing Conservative Party, and will become the country's next prime minister.

He defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt overwhelmingly in a vote of Conservative Party members.

He will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May on Wednesday.

The victory is a triumph for the 55-year-old Johnson, an ambitious but erratic politician whose political career has veered between periods in high office and spells on the sidelines.

Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union, "come what may," on the scheduled Brexit departure date of Oct. 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal.

But he faces a rocky ride from a Parliament determined to prevent him from taking the U.K. out of the bloc without a withdrawal agreement.

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8:30 a.m.

Britain's governing Conservative Party is set to reveal who the name of the country's next prime minister, with Brexit champion Boris Johnson the strong favorite to get the job.

Party officials will announce Tuesday whether Johnson or rival Jeremy Hunt has won a ballot of about 160,000 Conservative members.

The winner replaces Theresa May, who announced her resignation last month, and will officially become prime minister on Wednesday.

It will be a huge upset if the winner is not Johnson, who has wooed Conservatives by promising to succeed where May failed and lead the U.K. out of the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 — with or without a divorce deal.

Several Conservative ministers have already announced they will resign to fight any push for a no-deal Brexit.

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Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and the Conservative Party leadership race at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

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