UK Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that she is poised to contest any leadership challenge from former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, also pledging to lead the Conservative Party for years to come.
"I am in this business for the long term. I am in this for delivering for the British people, and that's what I'm focused on," May told Britain's ITV News, referring to her efforts to fight on as prime minister.
When asked about Johnson, she said that she "was very pleased Boris was foreign secretary for the period that he was foreign secretary."
May's remarks came a day after she admitted that the UK possibly crashing out of the EU will have harsh consequences but that "it would not be the end of the world."
Earlier, a poll conducted by the ConservativeHome blog revealed that almost 30 percent of respondents said that they would like to see Johnson as the UK's leader.
"It would be remarkable were it not predictable — or perhaps it is both at once," the ConservativeHome said, commenting on the results of the survey.
In a separate development this month, Johnson slammed May's soft Brexit proposal as a "historic mistake" that would turn Britain into a "perpetual punk of Brussels."
The statement was preceded by his warning that May's Brexit blueprint would see the country in "miserable limbo" and that the government had allowed a "fog of uncertainty" to descend on the Brexit process in the past 18 months.the Brexit white paper, which stipulates that London and Brussels could enable the free movement of all goods, but not of people and services, and maintain a "common rulebook" for all goods.
The proposal was rejected by Brussels amid concerns that it would undermine the European single market.
Johnson resigned from office last month alongside former Brexit Secretary David Davis and several other high-ranking UK politicians in protest against May's Chequers plan.