Johnson extends lead, Stewart out of race to be next British PM

This leaves four candidates in the race including Boris Johnson

BRITAIN-EU/LEADER-JOHNSON Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson | Reuters

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart has been knocked out of the race to become Britain's next prime minister. He received the least votes in the third ballot of Conservative MPs. This leaves four candidates in the race including former foreign secretary Boris Johnson. Johnson is leading the race so far with 143 votes.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt got 54 votes, Environment Secretary Michael Gove got 51 and Interior Minister Sajid Javid won 38 votes.

According to local media, Rory Stewart was seen walking around, talking to strangers and questioning Johnson's ability to lead. Johnson's task, should he eventually take the mantle of PM, would be to end the political deadlock over Britain’s exit from the European Union. Brexit is now scheduled for October 31.

Two more ballots scheduled for Thursday will whittle the four leaders to a final two. Prime Minister Theresa May stepped down earlier this month from her position as leader of the Conservative party. She announced that she would step down from the post of PM in May, on account of her inability to take deliver Brexit. She has failed thrice to pass her Brexit deals through the House of Commons.

As many as 160,000 grassroots party members will choose the new leader from the final two and the result will be declared in the week beginning July 22.

Initially a rank outsider, Stewart wanted to try again to get the divorce deal through parliament, but the other candidates all warn that without a change, Britain must be ready to leave with no deal at all.