Brexit weakens Chancellor Osborne's leadership chances, says senior Conservative

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 25, 2016 4:29 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister George Osborne's chances of succeeding Prime Minister David Cameron have been "much weakened" by the country's decision to quit the European Union, senior Conservative Party member Alan Duncan said on Saturday.

Cameron said he would resign after Thursday's referendum result showed 52 percent of Britons wanted to leave the EU.

"Remain" campaigner Osborne, Cameron's political ally and Chancellor since 2010, had been seen as the frontrunner to become the party's next leader. Chief Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson is now favourite to become prime minister in a leadership contest which will be concluded by October.

"He is much weakened, of course," Duncan, a former minister, told BBC radio. "I think it's probably going to be very difficult for him to stand on the back of this. I would have supported him in different circumstances."

(Reporting by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper)