Would-be PMs line up

As the field of candidates seeking to be the next UK prime minister grows, Boris Johnson has clarified the timing for handing over the nation’s top job he outlined last week in his resignation speech as Conservative Party leader.

Political observers say the ethnic variety evident in the list of MPs seeking to lead the nation (main picture)  highlights the multicultural make-up of modern Britain.

“This will be an important consideration for Conservative Party MPs and rank-and-file members,” head of Cambridge University’s department of politics, Professor Una Versity said.

“There is a very diverse field of candidates at the moment, some of whom most people, even Conservative Party members, may never have heard of before.

“But there is a definite feeling among Tory MPs that their party should lead the way in electing the first PM of colour and preferably a woman which means even an obscure outsider such as Sirob Nosonhoj could well be our next prime minister at the end of balloting process.

“I must admit she is someone I’ve rarely heard mention before and I don’t know anything about her, but she stands a pretty good chance in the current circumstances,” Prof Versity said.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has told reporters that he had made it clear in his speech resigning the Conservative Party leadership that he would not also be quitting the office of prime minister immediately.

“I say, I say! Chaps and chapettes!” Mr Johnson began a news conference outside 10 Downing Street after arriving by flying-fox wire twirling Union flags and singing Land of Hope and Glory. (pictured)

“I say, I say! You say I say I’d stay as PM for three months. But – I say, I say! – I sure I said I’d be gone in three years.

“I say, I say! I’m 100% sure I said that. And in case I actually didn’t say it which – I say, I say! – I may not have, then I certainly meant to say it which is the most important thing. Isn’t it?”

Mr Johnson did not stay for questions but sung Rule, Britannia! as he was winched back inside 10 Downing Street.