THE council leader will vote for Boris Johnson to become the next prime minister.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, who was tight-lipped on his preferred candidate in the Conservative leadership race until now, has revealed his choice as party members start voting today.

A total of 160,000 members will have the opportunity to cast their vote for either Mr Johnson or foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Newly-appointed local authority leader, Cllr Greenhalgh, told The Bolton News that he will be backing Mr Johnson to become the next Prime Minister.

He said: “I’m backing Boris! Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and I believe never has there been a more appropriate time to have Boris as our leader and Prime Minister.

“At another time, with the country facing a different set of challenges, I could have more than likely been a Hunt supporter, but I genuinely believe that Boris has the determination, commitment and charisma to get our Party and the country out of the stalemate we find ourselves in."

The Bromley Cross representative is joined by many of his Tory colleagues at the council who stated their support for Mr Johnson in the early stages of the leadership race.

Bolton West MP, the borough's only Conservative parliamentarian, initially threw his weight behind former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, but he is now backing Mr Johnson as well.

Cllr Greenhalgh added: “I accept it’s a roll of the dice. With Boris there is always an element of risk, but I genuinely believe it’s a risk worth taking for the future of our country and to deliver on the democratic will of the people. He delivered for London, and I have confidence he will deliver once again for our great country.”

However, some Conservative councillors are still undecided.

Adult social care executive, Cllr Andy Morgan, has asked each of the candidates on social media how they will help him plug the £13m gap in his department's budget over the next two years.

The Tory councillor is calling on Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt to announce when they will reveal long-delayed plans to address the situation nationally.

He said: "I want somebody to tell me when they are going to issue the green paper that they have been delaying for the last two years. It's all good talking about defence but we are not getting the basics for some of the most vulnerable people in this country."

The winner will be announced on July 23.