June 18, 2019 / 11:35 AM / 3 months ago

Britain's Fox says party leadership should not be rushed despite Johnson's lead

British Trade Minister Liam Fox speaks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, Egypt May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Files

ANKARA (Reuters) - The Conservative Party leadership contest should not be rushed even though Boris Johnson holds a big lead among party lawmakers, British Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Tuesday.

Johnson, a former foreign minister and ex-London mayor, won the support of 114 Conservative lawmakers in the first round of the leadership contest, far ahead of his nearest rival.

A second round of voting by lawmakers to whittle down the number of contenders to replace Theresa May is due later on Tuesday.

“We have a process set out where the members of parliament will determine two candidates that go to the whole of our party membership,” Fox said during a visit to Turkey.

“So that was the (process) set out and it should be followed. I think that especially in the current climate, if our party members and our party volunteers felt that they were being cut out of the process and denied a voice, I don’t see them taking that too well,” he said.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Additional reporting by Zeynep Arica; Editing by Catherine Evans

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