CONSERVATIVE LEADER BETTING: Boris Johnson is now the favourite to be the next Tory leader

Boris Johnson has become clear favourite to take over from Prime Minister Theresa May following his appointment to Foreign Secretary.

Many thought Johnson’s career in frontline politics was over after he quit his Conservative leadership bid last month.

But May surprised everyone on Wednesday when she gave Johnson the prominent position in her new Cabinet — which includes Philip Hammond as the Chancellor, Amber Rudd as the Home Secretary and Michael Fallon as the Defence Secretary.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said “this high ranking Cabinet position gives Boris every opportunity of raising his profile even higher, so that he will be in pole position when Theresa May stands down as leader.”

Johnson was one of the highest-profile politicians in the “Leave” camp during the EU referendum. When the UK voted for a Brexit, many thought he was poised to become Prime Minister — but a last minute leadership bid by fellow Leaver Michael Gove saw Johnson abruptly drop out of the race.

Hammond and Gove are second and third respectively to become the next Conservative leader after May, but both are way behind Johnson in the main bookmakers’ odds:

  • Ladbrokes: Johnson 5/1 — Hammond 16/1 — Gove 16/1
  • William Hill: Johnson 7/1 — Hammond 12/1 — Gove 14/1
  • Coral: Johnson 8/1 — Hammond 12/1 — Gove 14/1
  • Paddy Power: Johnson 5/1 — Hammond 14/1 — Gove 14/1
  • Sky Bet: Johnson 7/1 — Hammond 12/1 — Gove 12/1

May is expected to hand out more Cabinet jobs on Thursday.

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