efe-epaLondon

Former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said Thursday that he will stand as a candidate for Conservative Party leader if Prime Minister Theresa May leaves office.

"Of course I'm going to go for it," the 54-year-old former mayor of London said at a business event in the city of Manchester, according to the BBC.

May has said that she will resign as Prime Minister if the House of Commons backs her Brexit deal with the European Union.

Johnson led the campaign in favor of the UK leaving the EU before the June 2016 referendum and has said on several occasions that a no-deal Brexit would comply with the will of the voters.

Former Minister for Work and Pensions Esther McVey and Minister for International Development Rory Stewart have also announced their intention to present themselves as leadership candidates.

Other ministers, including Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Environment Minister Michael Gove and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, have also been named in the media as potential candidates.

The UK will be forced to participate in the upcoming European elections after Brexit was delayed until Oct. 31.

May's minority government has struggled to get its withdrawal deal through the House of Commons, the UK's lower parliament, amid party splits and an unreliable confidence and supply agreement with the right-wing Northern Irish party the DUP.

Her deal has been shot down in the Commons three times.

May announced in March that she will resign before the next phase of negotiations with the EU in exchange for support with her agreement for the UK’s exit.

The Conservative PM was engaged in talks with the opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to reach a consensus that would command a parliamentary majority.

Pressure has increased in the Conservative Party for May to establish a specific date for her resignation as Brexit negotiations continued to stall.

MPs hold a series of ballots in a Conservative leadership contest and the candidate with the fewest is knocked out at each stage.

When there are only two candidates remaining, the leader is chosen by a party member vote. EFE-EPA

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