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British Prime Minister Theresa May held back tears as she announced her resignation as leader of the Conservative Party amid Brexit fallout.
     USA TODAY

LONDON – A US-born British politician who once customs USA TODAY in an interview that was the chance of becoming a prime minister was about as likely as finding Elvis on Mars or being reincarnated as an olive, is the frontrunner to take over for outgoing British leader Theresa May, according to betting markets and opinion polls. Boris Johnson was born in New York to British parents, but renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2016 amid a taxes crackdown by the Internal Revenue Service on the global earning of dual nationals. She lived in the United States as a five-year-old.

"Boris Johnson is a friend of mine. He has been very, very nice to me, very supportive," President Donald Trump said in July last year after Johnson resigned as May's foreign secretary about her act of Britain's attempt to leave the European Union – Brexit.

Like Trump, Johnson comes to enjoy the limelight and attracts controversy wherever he goes. He was once forced into an apology to the nation of Papua New Guinea for comparing infighting in his Conservative Party to "Papua New Guinea-style orgies or cannibalism and chief-killing." He was fired as a journalist for making up a quote.

May's fraught three-year tenure in office will officially end on June 7, she announced Friday. The 62-year-old Conservative Party leader was forced from power for similar reasons. She will remain as a caretaker prime minister until Conservative Party lawmakers and members vote to elect a successor. In Britain, the public elects a party, not a candidate, meaning the government stays the same for now, until there is an election. The process is expected to take about six weeks. First, Conservative Party lawmakers hold a series of votes to whittle the field down to two candidates. Then, these two candidates are voted by party members across the country.

Theresa May: Britain's embattled leader resigns premiership amid Brexit deadlock

Experts say that whoever ends up as Britain's next leader won't dramatically rewrite one of the closest diplomatic, economic and military alliances in history: The "special relationship" between the US And Britain, a phrase and diplomatic mode operative coined by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1946. British-American goodwill accrued through two world wars, the Cold War, several conflicts in the Middle East and close cooperation in fighting international terrorism. Often, it's said, the two nations are only divided by a common language.

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Trump has described his relationship with May as the "highest level of special," but the two leaders clashed on the substance of policy – his Muslim travel ban, in particular – the new partnership is not expected to be all plain sailing and photo ops, either.

"The special relationship has not been so special," said Tim Bale, a politics professor at Queen Mary, University of London.

"Partly because the president couldn't stop himself criticizing the way May had gone about Brexit, and partly because she and other British politicians have been a little wary about associating themselves too closely with a guy who most treat (rightly or wrongly) as either downright dangerous or a laughingstock, or both. be looking for a full-on romance. "

Richard Whitman, a professor of politics at the University of Kent, said the" chemistry between May and Trump was awkward. " But he said Johnson-Trump would be different, calling it a "clash for the title of the greatest showman."

Meet the main contenders

Boris Johnson Gives a Speech in London on October 23, 2017. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)

Boris Johnson

Johnson, 54, is the bookmakers' favorite to succeed May. He is a direct descendant of King George II – his full name is Alexander Boris Pfeffel Johnson – and he has passed through many hallowed corridors of the British establishment. There was Eton College and the University of Oxford, where he was in the same classes as British Prime Minister David Cameron. In addition to foreign secretary, Johnson has been London's mayor. He was also a journalist, editing The Spectator, a longstanding political magazine. Johnson is a leading supporter of Brexit. He has spoken of his admiration for Trump on several occasions, although when he may have said the U.S. president was "clearly out of his mind." Johnson is well-known in Britain for his blonde hair and frequent classical allusions in speeches. One in four Britons think he would make a good prime minister, according to a survey by YouGov, a research firm.

Michael Gove is seen during an event in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, on April 23, 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE)

Michael Gove

Another prominent supporter of Britain leaving the EU, Gove, 51, is currently minister for the environment. He had a cabinet-level role in Cameron's government and he was viewed as a seasoned operator with extremely good debating skills. (While at Oxford, Gove was president of the debating society.) Like Johnson, Gove is also a former journalist and has made headlines in Britain when he secured the first interview with Trump for a British publication after his election in 2016. that interview for the Times of London that he spent an hour with the president-elect in his "glitzy, golden man cave" in Trump Tower, in New York City. Trump customs Gove that Britain was "smart to leave the EU." Gove predicted Trump would resign or lose the 2020 election. If he ends up as Trump's new British counterpart some of his comments out of the interview may come back to him: "He is someone who is clearly narcissistic or egotistical enough to be seen as a success," Gove said or Trump.

Britain's Home Secretary for the Scottish Conservative Party Conference in Aberdeen on May 3, 2019. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)

Sajid Javid

Javid, 49, has held various cabinet-level positions in Conservative Party governments, most recently as home secretary, or interior minister. He is the son of a bus driver from Pakistan and represents the relatively new face of British conservatism. Javid voted to stay in the EU in the referendum but has campaigned aggressively for Britain to abide by the vote's outcome, and leave. He is known for taking a hard line on immigration and has been a fiercely vocal opponent of returning to Britain. In one example, that of Shamima Begun, who fled to Syria's battlefields at 15, Javid is trying to revoke her citizenship in a case that New Jersey-born Hoda Muthana. The Trump administration is trying to block Muthana's return in a Washington court.

Britain's Former Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom in London on May 23, 2019. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)

Andrea Leadsom

Leadsom, 56, was the last candidate standing against May in the 2016 race to succeed Cameron. She resigned on Wednesday as leader of the House of Commons – a job responsible for arranging the order of government business in Britain's Parliament – protesting at May's then-refusal to step aside over Brexit. Leadsom is an ardent backer of Brexit but she stumbled during the leadership contest with May three years ago after she implied in an interview with a British newspaper that she thought would make a better prime minister than May because being a mother gift her an "advantage "About the childless May. "I have children who are going to have children who will directly be part of what happens next," Leadsom said in the BBC interview. Leadsom also appeared to inflate her experience working in financial services.

Dominic Raab speaks in the House of Commons in London on March 29, 2019. (Photo: -, AFP / Getty Images)

Dominic Raab Raab, 45, worked for an international law firm litigated against war criminals before joining Britain's foreign diplomatic corp as an advisor in 2000 He has a black belt in karate and boxes regularly. Raab resigned earas Brexit secretary in May's government so that he could vote against her EU withdrawal deal. He only served five months in the role. In interviews with the British press, Raab has spoken of wanting to get a "fairer deal for working Britain." He would do this, he said, by cutting taxes.


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