2 finalists in UK leadership race make pitch to Tory members

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)
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 Boris Johnson talks during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
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 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 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)

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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