2 finalists in UK leadership race make pitch to Tory members

British Conservative Party leadership and prime minister contender Boris Johnson gets in a car as he leaves home in south London, Friday, June 21, 2019. Britain's next leader will be chosen by about 160,000 members of the governing Conservative Party in a runoff between two candidates: former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson talks during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
Britain's Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson talks during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Conservative Party leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt rolls a naan bread as he visits Imran's Balti Restaurant ahead of the first Tory party hustings, in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson gestures, during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
Conservative Party leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt visits Imran's Balti Restaurant ahead of the first Tory party hustings, in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

LONDON — The two finalists in the race to lead Britain's governing Conservative Party — and to become the country's new prime minister — are making their first formal pitches to party members.

Former British foreign secretary and ex-London mayor Boris Johnson, the runaway favorite, and Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, faced off Saturday at a Conservative conference in central England's city Birmingham.

Johnson opened his address with a focus on Britain's stalled exit from the European Union. He told the audience: "We need to get Brexit done."

Saturday's "hustings" is the first of more than a dozen such party events set to take place across Britain in coming days.

A by-mail vote of about 160,000 party members across Britain will pick the winner. The result is expected the week of July 22.

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