Boris v Jeremy: Who are the rivals to be Britain's next PM?

London (AFP) – As the race to become Britain’s next prime minister draws to a close, here is a look at the two rival candidates, their campaigns and their main Brexit and domestic policies:

– Boris Johnson –

Age: 55

Top jobs: Mayor of London (2008-2016), foreign secretary (2016-2018)

Outside politics: Journalist, magazine editor, columnist


Brexit: Leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal; renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement; withhold the £39 billion ($48 billion) divorce payment until Britain gets a new deal

Tax: Raise threshold for 40 percent top rate of income tax from £50,000 to £80,000 per year; prioritise tax cuts for lowest paid

Spending: More money for public sector workers; maintain spending 0.7 percent of GDP on foreign aid

Immigration: Points-based system similar to Australia

Environment: Net zero emissions by 2050

Infrastructure: Immediate review on planned high-speed rail link (HS2) between London, Birmingham and Manchester; grave reservations over third runway at London Heathrow Airport; fast broadband internet for all homes by 2025

Defence: Would not back the United States if it took military action against Iran

Health: Spend more on social care; put money previously sent to EU towards state healthcare

Education: Raise per-pupil spending in primary and secondary schools, to at least £5,000 for the latter

Policing: 20,000 more officers by 2022.


Support among 313 Conservative MPs in final round of three: 160

Key backers: Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Dominic Raab

Slogan: Back Boris

Style: Grandiose, broad brush, florid turns of phrase

Hustings look: Jacket on, speech from lectern

Likes to mention: Crime reduction during London mayoralty

Social media followers: Twitter 630,000; Facebook 557,000; Instagram 45,500

– Jeremy Hunt –

Age: 52

Top jobs: Culture secretary (2010-2012), health secretary (2012-2018), foreign secretary (2018-)

Outside politics: Online education entrepreneur


Brexit: Renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement; convene new negotiating team from all wings of the conservative family; new plan published by the end of August; plan for no deal if new deal seems unlikely come September 30; delay Brexit temporarily beyond October 31 if deal within sight

Tax: Cut corporation tax from 19 percent to 12.5 percent; take 90 percent of high street businesses out of paying rates; £6 billion for fishing and farming sectors who export to Europe to ease transition

Spending: Build 1.5 million homes; free TV licences for over-75s

Immigration: Prioritise access for skilled workers; ditch target of below 100,000 net per year

Environment: Net zero emissions by 2050

Infrastructure: Backs a high-speed rail project known as HS2; backs Heathrow expansion

Defence: Raise spending from two percent to 2.5 percent of GDP

Health: Increase social care funding; mental health support in every school; opt-out insurance system

Education: Write off university tuition fees for entrepreneurs who create jobs

Policing: Increase numbers


Support among 313 Conservative MPs in final round of three: 77

Key backers: Liam Fox, Rory Stewart, Amber Rudd, Penny Mordaunt

Slogan: Unite to Win; #HastobeHunt

Style: Softly-spoken, diplomatic, measured

Hustings look: Jacket off, shirt sleeves rolled up, no lectern

Likes to mention: Used to be an entrepreneur, would be tough negotiator

Social media followers: Twitter 194,000; Facebook 15,000; Instagram 6,500