July 6, 2019 / 9:40 PM / 17 days ago

Interior minister Javid to endorse Johnson as PM - Sunday Times

FILE PHOTO: PM hopeful Sajid Javid arrives in Downing Street in London, Britain June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s interior minister Sajid Javid will this week formally endorse Boris Johnson to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and the country’s next prime minister, the Sunday Times reported.

Johnson is the frontrunner in a contest with foreign minister Jeremy Hunt to be the next leader. Voting is due to close on July 22, with the winner set to be announced the following day.

Johnson has pledged to leave the European Union with or without a deal on Oct. 31 if he becomes prime minister, while Hunt has said that he would, if absolutely necessary, go for a no-deal Brexit.

The Sunday Times said Javid has positioned himself to be Johnson’s finance minister, taking over from current finance minister Philip Hammond.

It reported that in a speech on Tuesday, Javid will say: “Trust in our democracy will be at stake if we don’t make Oct. 31 a ‘deal or no deal’ deadline. To prepare that, we are agreed on the need for ramped-up no-deal preparations, including a budget.”

The newspaper also said that Johnson would visit the United States before the end of September to meet President Donald Trump.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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