Speculation points towards Perth date for Johnson and Hunt in Conservative hustings

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves 10 Downing Street in London

"The announcement of the next leader of the Conservative Party will be made on Tuesday 23 July".

LONDON: The victor of the contest to replace Theresa May as leader of Britain´s ruling Conservatives and prime minister will be announced on July 23, the ruling party said Tuesday.

Johnson, who is running to be the next leader for both the Conservative Party and the nation, has refused to address personal questions despite an ongoing clamor to face public scrutiny after a reported quarrel with his girlfriend last week prompted a police visit.

Mr Johnson focused his message on ensuring that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union by October 31, a message that he believes will resonate with the 160,000 members of the ruling Conservative Party who will vote in the new leader.

He instead tried to focus on his policies, saying "we need to get Brexit done" and promising to prepare Britain for a no deal exit from the European Union if a deal can not be reached.

"Don't be a coward, Boris", Hunt wrote.

"This is an audition to be the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Boris needs to show that he's prepared to answer hard questions", Hunt said.

But he added that Johnson had to engage more in the leadership race, including taking part in more TV debates. The broadcaster has invited both candidates to another debate on July 1.

However, the race might ultimately turn into a popularity contest between Johnson - pugnacious, but affable with a tendency for gaffes - and the more diplomatic, low-key Hunt.

Asked about the police visit several times during a Conservative forum on Saturday, Johnson said the public did not want to "hear about that kind of thing".

Supporters of Johnson have said the action of a neighbour in releasing a recording of the row to the Guardian newspaper was politically motivated.

"I think a dozen or so Members of Parliament would be on our side, would be voting against supporting a no-deal and that would include ministers as well as backbenchers", Mr Ellwood told BBC One's Panorama programme.

On the BBC, Mr Johnson said: "I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones". "I want to leave by October 31, but if Parliament stops it the prime minister has to obey the law".

In the LBC interview, Johnson also strongly denied claims by former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon that the pair had worked together, saying it was "codswallop".

Penn said he voted to remain in the European Union three years ago, but that was the extent of his involvement in politics.

"The very prospect of someone taping someone in their private home quite frankly tells me that it is politically motivated and that is not the type of behavior that you'd expect in our country", Patel said.

Symonds, who it is understood was under emotional pressure on the day of the incident due to her evil rapist attacker, John Worboys, once again hitting the headlines, has slammed the low-blow plot, rightly calling it nothing more than a left-wing "stitch-up" and revealing recently that she now fears going back to her own home after experiencing a relentless "hate campaign" of vicious intimidation.

Avoiding further questions about the matter at the hustings, Johnson said party members would not be interested in hearing about it, to applause from the audience.

But the paper said Johnson "can't let it fester", adding: "The story is out there and millions are talking about it".

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