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Trump-backed Boris Johnson cruises through first round of vote to succeed Theresa May

•, By Adam Shaw

Johnson, a hardline Brexiteer and the favored candidate of President Trump, secured a third of votes of his fellow Tory MPs, winning 114 votes. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt finished second with 43, and Environment Secretary Michael Gove finished third with 37.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and Home Secretary Savid Javid also made it through to the second round. Candidates needed 16 votes to move one, meaning three of the 10 candidates, including former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, were eliminated.

Johnson, who was a key campaigner for Britain to vote to leave the E.U. in 2016, has held a muscular approach to negotiations with Brussels, promising that Britain will leave the bloc in October with or without a withdrawal agreement. May resigned after a number of delays to Britain's departure as Parliament rejected her agreement on three different occasions.

"After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the E.U. on October 31," he said Wednesday,

Johnson has told fellow Brexiteers that he will leave open the radical possibility of suspending Parliament to force through a "no-deal" Brexit if negotiations with Brussels fail, rather than again delay Brexit, The Times of London reported Thursday.

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