Boris Johnson has been elected new Conservative leader in a ballot of party members and will become the next UK prime minister.

He beat Jeremy Hunt in a poll of Tory members, winning 92,153 votes to Mr Hunt’s 46,656.

The former London Mayor takes over from Theresa May on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson began his acceptance speech by praising his successor, saying it had been “a privilege to serve in her cabinet”.

Almost 160,000 votes were cast – which represented an 87.4% turnout rate.

Some 160,000 members of the Tory party had been voting by post for the past two and a half weeks. Johnson saw off his challenger Jeremy Hunt and was revealed as the new PM shortly before midday local time in London. 

A former mayor of London and former British foreign secretary, Johnson was the clear favourite from the moment Theresa May announced she would be stepping down, following her failure to secure a Brexit deal with the EU.