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British conservatives start choosing new PM

Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 01:23

Britain’s Conservative party begins the drawn-out selection process to choose a new leader, with two women leading the five way pack, holding out the possibility of the first female prime minister since Margaret Thatcher. Ashraf Fahim reports.

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The long process of choosing British Prime Minister David Cameron's successor is now underway. Conservatives lawmakers cast their votes Tuesday in the first of a series of ballots to whittle down the field of five candidates over the next several weeks. The contest comes after the June 23 vote to leave the European Union that threw British politics into chaos and forced Cameron to step down. The favorites are long-time interior minister Theresa May and junior energy minister Andrea Leadsom. May, who was in Cameron's cabinet for six years, enjoys the greatest backing and is the bookmakers' favorite. But Leadsom has the advantage of emerging on the winning side of the Brexit referendum. And she got a boost Tuesday from fellow 'Leave' campaigner, former London mayor Boris Johnson. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FORMER MAYOR OF LONDON, BORIS JOHNSON SAYING: "I think she's got a very positive vision of what this country can achieve outside the European Union. We've had a lot of gloom. Andrea sees very clearly what the opportunities are and it's time for her to take that up." The other candidates are MP Stephen Crabb, former defence minister Liam Fox and justice minister Michael Gove But with two women considered the frontrunners, the U.K. may get its first female prime minister since Margaret Thatcher.

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British conservatives start choosing new PM

Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 01:23