The blond front-runner said talks of an early leadership coronation would be “totally wrong” as the remaining contenders vowed to stay in the race for the role of Prime Minister regardless. He rejected the plan that had come from the whips’ office and told the Daily Telegraph the new Tory Party leader must have a “mandate” from Conservative members. Mr Johnson said it was “very important” to put two contenders to the party for the final vote.
Cheltenham Conservatives chairman Chris Nelson asked Mr Johnson if he wanted to stop the competition today at a hustings event with senior Conservative party members.
Mr Johnson replied: “No, no, no. I think that would be totally wrong. We must have a proper vote, we must have a proper contest.
“I think it is very important that whoever is leader has a mandate both from the MPs and from the party and the country.”
The six remaining candidates spoke at the event today in London, with Mr Johnson’s challengers agreeing with his comments.
Sajid Javid told the room it was “clear” Mr Johnson would be one of the final two candidates.
But he added: “I don’t want to see a coronation. There needs to be a proper process that’s followed through.
“We had a coronation the last time. That didn’t work out well so let’s not make the same mistake again.
“Let’s give the opportunity to the members to have their say.”
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart added: “The members of the Conservative Party who are wise, sensible, experienced people, deserve to have a choice.
“We should have learned from the last time round coronations are not the way to do democratic politics.”
Boris Johnson remains the heavy favourite to win the Tory leadership contest however some political commentators have warned that he could face a vote of no confidence early into his premiership.
Mr Johnson secured the highest number of votes in the first ballot to select Prime Minister Theresa May’s replacement.
The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip received 114 votes and is currently looking unstoppable in the leadership contest.
Behind Mr Johnson is Jeremy Hunt in second place with 43 votes and Michael Gove in third with 37.
In his bid for No 10, Mr Johnson vowed to deliver a super-fast Brexit and told MPs there would be “mortal retribution” if they blocked Britain’s departure from the EU.