The maneuvers began on Friday July 8 to replace the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, after his resignation caused by an unprecedented political crisis. His former finance minister, Rishi Sunak, was one of the very first to position himself for his succession at the head of the conservative party and therefore at the head of the government.
“I am running to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister. Let’s restore confidence, rebuild the economy and bring the country together,” he said on Twitter. “My values are non-negotiable, patriotism, justice, and hard work,” he added in a video where he highlights the importance of his family in particular.
Avalanche of departures
Rishi Sunak, 42 and considered one of the favorites in the race, announced his resignation on Tuesday, apparently without even telling Boris Johnson, in the wake of his health counterpart, Sajid Javid, after a new scandal.
Their departure triggered a haemorrhage of other departures of more or less senior members of the executive which ended on Thursday with the resignation of Mr. Johnson, let go by his government tired of the scandals and his repeated lies which have marked two years and 349 days in office.
If the Prime Minister has resigned from the head of the Conservative Party, he has not yet left Downing Street, specifying that he will remain in power until his successor is appointed. This situation, which could last until the fall, is making people cringe, while the country is facing record inflation of 9%, the worst of the G7 countries, and a rise in social movements, in a context of war in Ukraine.
Mr Johnson ‘is a proven liar drowned in corruption, we can’t go another two months like this’, Labor opposition deputy leader Angela Rayner said on Friday calling for a caretaker prime minister , on the BBC. “If they don’t, we are very clear that we will present a motion of no confidence before the recess” on July 22, she added.
Monday estate detail
Mr Johnson’s spokesman, however, ruled out Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab taking over as interim. “The Prime Minister acts in accordance with the convention. He remains prime minister until a new party leader is in place and the work of government will continue during that time,” he said.
Newly appointed Education Minister James Cleverly assured that the process of appointing the new Tory leader would be carried out “professionally but expeditiously”. Some elected officials, however, fear a chaotic summer.
Mr Johnson assured after his resignation that his hastily reconstituted government (twelve ministers and secretaries of state were appointed on Thursday and seven on Friday) would not seek to implement new policies or make major changes. The big budget decisions will be left to the next prime minister.
Details of the procedure to succeed him will be announced on Monday by the 1922 Committee, a Conservative parliamentary group. The appointment of the new leader of the party, who will become prime minister – the party having the majority in the House of Commons – must take place before the annual convention of the party on October 2 in Birmingham.
Several ex-members approached
MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, has also declared himself a candidate. Attorney General Suella Braverman also expressed interest.
Among the candidates approached, the best placed would be the Minister of Defense, Ben Wallace. Next are Rishi Sunak, Foreign Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Health Minister Sajid Javid.
And already the knives are out: Boris Johnson loyalist Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose minister for Brexit opportunities he is, launched an all-out attack on Friday against Mr Sunak, whose resignation would have enraged Boris Johnson. “Rishi Sunak has failed as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was a high-tax chancellor, unaware of the problem of inflation,” he said even before his candidacy was announced.
In announcing his resignation, Mr. Johnson, 58, had not had a word for the unprecedented wave of departures in 48 hours, or the turmoil of his tenure and accusations exposing his lies and lack of integrity. He said he was “tremendously proud” of his record, and denounced the “powerful herd instinct” at Westminster, a direct attack on those who had abandoned him en masse.