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Division and difficulty ahead for the new Prime Minister

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt at Welsh Conservative hustings in Cardiff Credit: PA, David Mirzoeff

It'll be a former Welsh Secretary who'll break the news today about who will be the new Conservative leader and the next Prime Minister.

Dame Cheryl Gillan is acting chair of the Tory party's 1922 committee which has been in charge of the leadership election to choose a successor to Theresa May.

So it'll be she who'll announce the result this morning, the importance of which is difficult to overstate.

Former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan revealed the results in the parliamentary ballots and will name the new Prime Minister later. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

The two candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, have spent the last month or so travelling around the UK campaigning and answering the questions of Conservative party members.

And it's those party members who've chosen the new leader. There's no official figures but it's thought there are up to 180,000 of them, around 4,000 of them in Wales.

Those supporting Jeremy Hunt have said over the last few weeks that the Foreign Secretary has been impressing people and winning support in the party hustings.

However it's the former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who's widely expected to win the contest. Members of his team are hoping he could do so with more than 60% of the votes.

If so he won't have an easy ride. A number of cabinet ministers are expected to quit rather than either be sacked or serve under a leader willing to leave the EU without a deal.

David Gauke and Phillip Hammond said over the weekend they'd both go if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister, while Sir Alan Duncan resigned yesterday. Credit: PA

At the weekend the Chancellor Philip Hammond said that he'll do just that on Wednesday as did the Justice Secretary David Gauke. One Foreign Office minister, Sir Alan Duncan, has already resigned.

As backbenchers they're likely to cause a major headache for the new government, committed to blocking a no-deal exit and preventing attempts to by-pass parliament.

They'll join the handful of Conservative rebel MPs, which include the Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb and former Assembly Member Antoinette Sandbach, who have repeatedly voted with opposition parties on important Brexit votes.

There have also been reports that Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has been approaching those ministers likely to resign to persuade them to join cross-party efforts against no-deal.

All this makes the threat of a no-confidence vote a very real one if, as expected, Boris Johnson is the next Prime Minister. Such a vote could come in the autumn or as early as this Thursday.

Before that comes the new Prime Minister will appoint his cabinet in a reshuffle expected to start on Wednesday night and continue until Friday.

Alun Cairns welcomed prospective Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Barry earlier this month. Credit: Frank Augstein/PA Wire/PA Images

The current Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has been a vocal cheerleader for Boris Johnson but it's not clear if that will lead to promotion for him or even continued employment in the same post. I'm told that he's hopeful that he'll have chance to continue with his plans as Welsh Secretary.

There's been some speculation that the Prisons Minister, Robert Buckland, may have been earmarked for the role by team Johnson.

Hailing as he does from Llanelli, there's no doubting Mr Buckland's Welshness nor his commitment to Wales but it's also a fact that he represents a seat in England - Swindon South.

If he were to be given the cabinet job that would surely mean pressure to appoint a junior minister from a Welsh constituency. Could this finally be the moment when Monmouthshire's David TC Davies joins the government?

There are other Welsh Tories not representing Welsh seats who could be in line for promotion, such as Ribble Valley's Nigel Evans, another staunch Brexiteer.

Could a Boris Johnson premiership see promotions for Welsh Conservatives Robert Buckland, Nigel Evans, David TC Davies and David Jones? Credit: PA

But even with their undeniable national identities, to choose two Wales Office ministers from MPs representing English seats would at the very least not look good. In fact the last time it happened was under Edward Heath.

I'd also keep an eye out for a possible comeback for the former Welsh Secretary and Brexit minister David Jones. He's been a leading member of team Johnson and led the campaign in Wales. He may have been a cabinet member in the past but a junior ministerial post in a big department such as the Foreign Office would still be seen as a good move for him.

A reshuffle, however, will be the least of the new Prime Minister's worries. There are tensions in the Gulf, the Brexit deadline looming, a divided parliament, opponents on his own side and the prospect of a general election, a referendum or both. What an in tray.

Meanwhile political opponents have already begun setting out their likely concerns about the next Prime Minister.

The Welsh Government's Brexit minister has warned against the 'catastrophic damage' that he claims would result from leaving the EU without a deal and says the new leader should rule it out.

Later today, we’ll discover who will be the next Prime Minister of the UK. Whoever wins, we know they have threatened to tear the UK out of the EU without a deal, mainly to please their own party, rather than putting the interests of the country first.

Those hell bent on a no deal Brexit need to hear the clear message from Wales today – this would hit Wales hard, inflicting catastrophic damage on our country and economy.

This cannot be allowed to happen – we won’t stand by and allow sustained growth in Welsh farming and food to be derailed by the reckless actions of a few. Today we’re calling on the new Prime Minister to rule no deal out.

– Jeremy Miles AM, Brexit minister

Plaid Cymru is assuming the winner will be Boris Johnson and has gone on the attack against his repeated defence of the option of leaving without a deal.

Expert after expert, and even the government itself, has confirmed the policy Boris Johnson is pursuing would be disastrous for Welsh farmers and our rural communities.

The new Prime Minister isn’t even in place, but is already managing to fail our farming sector.

The economic heart will be ripped out of our rural economy if Mr Johnson continues down the path he has started. If he does not change course, Plaid Cymru will fight him every step of the way.

– Ben Lake MP, Plaid Cymru