The list of candidates to succeed Boris Johnson in ‘world’s best job’ as UK prime minister is getting shorter and shorter, with just five names, headed by former British finance minister Rishi Sunak and ex-defence minister Penny Mordaunt.
After this new vote, Sunak (101 votes), Mordaunt (83), Secretary of State Liz Truss (64), Secretary of State for Equality Kimi Badenoch (49) and Representative Tom Tugendhat (32) moved to the second round. The current British government’s attorney general, Suella Braverman, 42, was eventually disqualified from the race.
The former finance minister is considered the favorite to succeed Johnson, who resigned as Conservative Party leader last week after a mass stampede of government officials over months of moral scandals. He will remain in his position until a replacement is chosen.
Sunak is a rising star in government and the party, and was one of the first ministers to resign, a decision condemned by Johnson’s allies, who accused the former chancellor of plotting to bring down the prime minister.
Furthermore, Sunak, the only British politician to make the Sunday Times list of the richest families ever, has come under heavy criticism for the tax increases he introduced as an adviser. Despite the criticism, a spokesman for the former finance minister revealed he intended to “continue with strong messages on the economic agenda”, according to the BBC, alleging that other candidates had deviated from their promises.
But Sunak’s victory is not guaranteed, quite the contrary. Candidate Penny Mordaunt stood out in the race thanks to a string of strong endorsements, which led to the odds at bookmaker Ladbrokes.
The Guardian says the former defense minister has a huge advantage over candidates such as Liz Truss or Sunak. She was not part of Johnson’s inner circle, which she removed after she backed Jeremy Hunt (who supports Sunak as the prime minister’s successor) in 2019 for leadership of the Conservative Party. This departure from Johnson could prove decisive in his victory.
Mordaunt’s rise in the polls was somewhat unexpected, with Truss, once considered the favorite to succeed Johnson, continuing to track the former defense secretary.
With the Conservatives still on the brink of choosing their next leader, polls reveal we could be facing an ideological shift in the UK, with Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer ahead of any of Johnson’s potential successors, despite this week seeing a blame movement against the government’s rejection.
Labor announced on Wednesday it would submit a censure motion, which it said was the “last chance” to remove Boris Johnson as prime minister. The main opposition party wants to prevent Johnson from remaining in office until September, when a new party leader will be announced who will be chosen exclusively by members of Congress and Conservative activists.
You can’t leave it hanging for weeks, weeks, and weeks until September 5th. The Labor leader defended that it “would be intolerable for the country”. The next UK prime minister will be announced on September 5, according to Reuters. At the moment, Boris Johnson has not announced his support for any of the candidates in the race to succeed him.
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