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Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR


Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among the candidates to succeed Prime Minister Liz Truss.

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Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among the candidates to succeed Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

LONDON — Following the resignation of Liz Truss as Britain’s fourth prime minister in just over six years, her Conservative Party – in power since 2010 – is racing to choose a replacement.

Candidates have until next Monday to stand, but party officials have announced that to be considered they will have to show they have the support of 100 Tory MPs – around a third of the party’s lawmakers in the chamber. low. of the British parliament, the House of Commons.

At most, it means there can only be three candidates on the first ballot to decide the party’s new leader – and de facto prime minister. This is designed to avoid a repeat of the previous selection process this summer which ended with Liz Truss as the winner. It saw a wide range of early candidates narrowed down to two, who then campaigned across Britain for two months in a drawn-out contest that created a political vacuum and drew criticism at a time of growing crisis for many Britons, who were struggling with the soaring cost of living.

This week, after the second resignation of a Tory Prime Minister in just four months, leaders of Britain’s main opposition parties are demanding a general election instead and branding the new selection process a Tory ‘crown’. Although no candidate has immediately announced interest, here is a list of some possible replacements for Truss at 10 Downing Street.

Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Boris Johnson delivers his final speech as Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street on September 6.

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Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Boris Johnson delivers his final speech as Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street on September 6.

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Boris Johnson

Despite announcing his resignation amid a whirlwind of scandal last July and facing a parliamentary inquiry into his behavior involving public statements about social gatherings in Downing Street during his time as Prime Minister, Johnson retains supporters within the parliamentary party and among ordinary rank and file members. .

He resigned under a tidal wave of pressure when dozens of members of his own government resigned as ministers and deputy ministers. They were angered by months of scandal involving breaches of confinement among its staff – although he himself was also penalized by the police – and for questions about his honesty and judgment after placing a man charged with sexual assault in a high-level position in government.

He won a significant majority for his party in the 2019 general election, and his supporters say he is therefore the only real figure within the Conservative Party who can claim a mandate from the British people. Some critics said they would quit the party if he returned.

And although Johnson did not want to leave Downing Street earlier this year, there have been few public indications that he wants to return to what many will see as a poisoned gift, given the country’s obvious economic and political challenges. .

Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons on October 11. Mordaunt insisted earlier this week, much to the amusement of many, that Truss was not “hiding under a desk”.

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Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons on October 11. Mordaunt insisted earlier this week, much to the amusement of many, that Truss was not “hiding under a desk”.

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Penny Mordaunt

Mordaunt was a well-supported third-place finalist in the competition this summer to replace Boris Johnson, but ultimately endorsed Truss.

She appeared in place of the Prime Minister earlier this week in Parliament to answer pointed questions from opposition political parties, and to the amusement of many she insisted that Truss was not “hiding under a desk”.

Under Truss, she served as Chief of Staff in the House of Commons, primarily responsible for overseeing government affairs in the country’s lower house, and with another largely ceremonial role, Lord President of the Privy Council, she served as also oversaw a ceremony which approved the King Charles’ legal accession to the British throne after the death of his mother.

Mordaunt had served as a naval reservist and several years ago became the first woman to serve as the country’s defense minister. His eventual candidacy has already received several public endorsements from other lawmakers.

Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak sits with Liz Truss during the announcement of the winner of the Conservative Party leadership race in September. Sunak is considered more of a centrist and pragmatic politician than Truss.

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Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak sits with Liz Truss during the announcement of the winner of the Conservative Party leadership race in September. Sunak is considered more of a centrist and pragmatic politician than Truss.

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Rishi Sunak

Sunak was Boris Johnson’s high-profile and hugely popular finance minister during the pandemic, but lost out to Truss in the race to replace him. He got significantly more votes from conservative lawmakers, but did not get the same level of support from rank-and-file party members who ultimately decided the contest in his favor.

Considered more of a centrist and pragmatic politician than Truss, he repeatedly warned that his policy proposals regarding tax cuts and spending would leave a hole in the country’s finances, and his statements to this effect were largely vindicated when the financial markets reacted so negatively to Truss. tax cut announcements last month.

Having only been elected as an MP in 2015, after a career in banking and hedge funds, his political rise to become finance minister by 2020 has been meteoric. In this role, he has taken unprecedented steps to support Britain’s economy during the pandemic, with month-long programs to replace workers’ wages and encourage consumer spending.

Lke Johnson, he received a financial penalty from the police for breaking the country’s COVID-19 social distancing rules, and he faced criticism after details of his very wealthy wife’s international tax affairs emerged been published in the British media.

Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives for the weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street last week. She quit earlier this week, reportedly for sending a sensitive document, from a personal email account

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Boris Johnson is among the best candidates for the next British Prime Minister: NPR

Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives for the weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street last week. She quit earlier this week, reportedly for sending a sensitive document, from a personal email account

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Suella Braverman

Braverman served as Attorney General under Johnson and was later elevated to Home Secretary – known in the UK as the Home Secretary – under Liz Truss.

That left her in charge of policing, the criminal justice system, and immigration, and had already earned a reputation as an uncompromising hawk on immigration. She has publicly promised to reduce migration to the UK in recent weeks and has argued vehemently for a controversial policy that would send asylum seekers arriving in Britain to the African nation of Rwanda to have their claims processed there. .

She resigned earlier this week, reportedly for sending a sensitive, but not secret, document from a personal email account, but in her public resignation letter she appeared to sharply criticize Truss for not being committed to “serious politics” and for failing to acknowledge and then take responsibility for his government’s mistakes, including the tax and spending proposals that have rattled financial markets in recent weeks.

She was a lawyer before entering Parliament and was among the strongest supporters of Brexit. She, too, stood to replace Johnson in the leadership race earlier this year, but was voted out in the first round by her fellow MPs.

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