Struggle for PM post in UK
"In the last few weeks, Prime minister post is so difficult and cannot compare to other tasks in government," he said. "Boris learns from his experience at 10 Downing Street and takes care of the country's needs from day one. I support his return to prime minister," he said.
Earlier Johnson, who unlike the other contenders has not formally announced a bid for the election, was also backed by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Northern Ireland Minister Christopher Heaton-Harris, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, Housing, Regional Development and Local Government Secretary Simon Clarke and Transport Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
Also, a candidate needs more than 100 votes from fellow faction members, the total number of which is 357, to advance to the next round of parliamentary voting. According to Sky News TV's calculations, former finance ministry chief Rishi Sunak is the only candidate to pass the threshold so far. For his part, Johnson was publicly backed by 57 Tory MPs. House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt has secured the support of 24 members of the Conservative faction.
After determining the two finalists, ordinary members of the Conservative Party, the number of which, according to various sources, from 160 thousand to nearly 200 thousand, will be invited to determine the winner by electronic ballot. The results are due to be finalised by October 28. If only one candidate gets 100 votes in the first round, he or she will be declared the new party leader and prime minister of the country at once.