Rishi Sunak next or UK return to Boris Johnson? Here are the 4 suitors after the resignation of Liz Truss
Even before Liz Truss stepped down, five names were floating around about who would come after her. Economic policies that had to be reversed, a series of resignations by ministers and aides and then the Conservative Party’s loss of faith in her meant the announcement came as no surprise.
What may come as a surprise is that Boris Johnson, his outraged predecessor, is one of the names in the mix.
Leading UK news outlets – the Times, Daily Telegraph and BBC – have reports that he is in the running. The Times report cites sources as saying Boris Johnson believes it is a matter of “national interest” that he return to 10 Downing Street.
He’s not a favorite, however.
It is, unsurprisingly, Rishi Sunak.
Bookmakers’ favourite, former finance minister Sunak lost the race to Liz Truss just a few weeks ago.
After him come Penny Mordaunt and Defense Minister Ben Wallace, followed by Jeremy Hunt, the current Finance Minister. Mr Hunt has said he will not run, which puts former Prime Minister Boris Johnson fourth in the list of favourites.
The Conservatives – or Conservatives, as they are called – still have until December 2024 in power, that is, if they can find a prime minister who can stay on as president. The party will elect a new leader next week, until Liz Truss stays on as president.
Here are the likely contenders:
Rishi Sunak became Chancellor of the UK Treasury (Finance Minister, actually) just before the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020.
But his wealth meant people, even within the party, doubted he could understand the economic situation of choosing between heating himself or eating ordinary people.
A finance expert, the son of Indian-born parents who came to the UK from Africa decades ago, the millionaire is married to Indian tech heiress Akshaya Murty, whose father, NR Narayana Murthy, founded Infosys.
His alleged tax avoidance by using loopholes has also come into question. An MP since 2015, the 42-year-old resigned just before scandal-ridden Boris Johnson in July.
Rishi Sunak said in his resignation that the government should “be run properly, competently and earnestly”.
“I recognize that this may be my last ministerial post, but I believe these standards are worth upholding and that is why I am stepping down,” he wrote. He then came in and lost the race for the top job to Liz Truss.
Penny Mordauntcurrently Leader of the House of Commons, came third behind Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership election.
After falling out of the race, she had supported Liz Truss. Recently, as Liz Truss’ star fell, Penny Mordaunt wrote a newspaper column saying “Britain needs stability, not a soap opera”.
The 49-year-old was once a reality TV star and is now the only woman in the running.
The BBC calls her “the Brexiteer who is popular with the grassroots”. She was a leading supporter of Britain leaving the European Union in a referendum in 2016.
Ben Wallace, 52, Defense Secretary under Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, was a bookies favorite when Mr Johnson quit. But he chose not to run.
A former soldier, he said he wanted to focus on “the security of this great country”. He then endorsed Liz Truss.
Just two days ago he said he would quit if Liz Truss failed to deliver on her promise to spend 3% of UK GDP on defense by 2030.
Boris Johnsonthe ever colorful and often outrageous former mayor of London served more than three years as prime minister but had to step down after news of parties at his official home during the Covid lockdown surfaced.
That wasn’t the only scandal that led to his exit, however.
His writings in the newspapers have often gotten him into trouble – allegations of racism come up repeatedly.
He’s been a senior Tory for more than two decades now, and backing Brexit is seen as his big moment of propelling him into serious politics.
Comments are closed.