EXPLAINED: How the historic handover from Theresa May to Boris Johnson will unfold

Posted On: 
24th July 2019

A scorching hot Westminster will on Wednesday be treated to the pomp and ceremony of a new Prime Minister taking up post. Here's how the handover from Theresa May to Boris Johnson will happen

A lectern outside Number 10 Downing Street
Credit: 
PA

Boris Johnson will wake up on Wednesday morning as the MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip - but he'll go to bed as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, while Theresa May heads for life as a backbencher once more.

The handover from Mrs May kicks off with her final Prime Minister's Questions at noon, where she will square off against Labour's Jeremy Corbyn for one last time.

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Expect fulsome tributes from Tory backbenchers (many of whom have notably stayed away from PMQs for the past few months) and a riff on the traditional "further such meetings later today" opening answer.

Mrs May is then expected to make her final speech as Prime Minister outside Number 10 at around 2.20pm, where she could point to the flurry of announcements she's made in her final few weeks in the job.

The PM will then head for Buckingham Palace for 2.30pm where she will meet the Queen to formally tender her resignation and recommend that Her Majesty sends for Boris Johnson.

She will leave Buckingham Palace as just another MP. In a sign of her reduced status, she will not be able to use the ministerial car she arrived in.

Meanwhile Mr Johnson is expected to arrive at the Palace at about 3.30pm, where he will be asked to form a new government.

With news choppers circling overhead, he will enter the gated Downing Street at around 4pm and make his first speech as Prime Minister, building on his pledge to get Brexit done, unite his party, "energise the country" and defeat Mr Corbyn.

That's when the real work - appointing a Cabinet, penning apocalypse-scenario instructions to Britain's nuclear fleet, and working out what on earth happens next on Brexit - begins.

Mr Johnson's team have promised to unveil a "Cabinet for modern Britain" - with a "record number" of ethnic minority politicians and a boost in the number of women attending as full members.

All eyes will be on those first appointments - the Brexiteer/Remainer split, the mix of old and new talent - for the first clear signals of how Britain's new Prime Minister hopes to carry out the momentous task ahead of him.