April 25, 2019 / 2:09 PM / a month ago

Hunt says next Conservative leader must believe in Brexit

FILE PHOTO: Members of the police stand guard near the Houses of Parliament as an anti-Brexit demonstrator waves an EU flag, in London, Britain April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday the next leader of the governing Conservative Party should be someone who believes in Brexit.

Several ministers are jockeying for position after Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to promise she would step down before the next phase of Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union to try to rally her party behind her Brexit deal.

That strategy has so far failed and her deal has been rejected in parliament three times. On Wednesday, her Conservatives said they would press the prime minister for a timetable for her departure from office.

Asked by a reporter at an event in parliament if the next leader needed to be a Brexiteer, Hunt, who backed remain ahead of the 2016 referendum, said it needed to be someone who believed in Brexit.

Asked if he would run, Hunt said: “Wait and see.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper

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