The Latest: Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt in UK leader runoff

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British Conservative party leadership and prime minister contender Boris Johnson leaves his home in south London, Thursday June 20, 2019. The race to become Britain’s next prime minister is down to the final four on Wednesday, as Boris Johnson stretched his lead among Conservative lawmakers and upstart Rory Stewart was eliminated from the contest. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on choosing Britain’s next prime minister (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will compete to become Britain’s next prime minister in a runoff vote by members of the governing Conservative Party.

Johnson, a former U.K. foreign secretary, and Hunt, who holds that office now, are the last candidates standing after a series of elimination votes by Conservative lawmakers. Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Environment Secretary Michael Gove were culled from the race on Thursday.

Johnson got 160 of the votes cast by 313 Tory lawmakers in the final round, and is strong favorite to win the ballot of some 160,000 party members.

Hunt, who got 77 votes, will seek to halt Johnson’s momentum by picking away at Johnson’s plans for Brexit as the two speak to meetings of party members across the country.

The winner is due to be announced in late July, and will replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister.

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1:10 p.m.

The contest to become Britain’s next prime minister is down to its final three candidates, with Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt chasing front-runner Boris Johnson for a spot in a deciding runoff.

Johnson gained 157 of 313 votes cast by Conservative lawmakers Thursday in their fourth round of voting. Gove received 61, leapfrogging Hunt, who has been in second place until now but got 59.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid came fourth with 34 votes and drops out.

A second vote Thursday will select the final two contenders, who will go to a by-mail ballot of all 160,000 Conservative Party members nationwide. 

The winner is due to be announced in late July, and will replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister.

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9 a.m.

Britain’s governing Conservatives were set to pick two candidates who will square off to become the country’s next prime minister.

Tory lawmakers will vote to eliminate two contenders from a four-strong field that includes ex-foreign minister and London mayor Boris Johnson, current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Johnson has a commanding lead after three rounds of voting that cut the list from an initial 10 contenders. The three others are battling to join him in a runoff to be decided by 160,000 Conservative Party members nationwide.

All the candidates are vowing to lead Britain out of the European Union, a challenge that defeated outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May. She quit as Conservative leader earlier this month after failing to win Parliament’s backing for her Brexit deal.

The winner of the contest, due to be announced the week of July 22, will become Conservative leader and prime minister.

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Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and the Conservative Party leadership race at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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