Eight Conservative candidates vying to replace Boris Johnson | Political news
Eight candidates will be on the ballot when Tory MPs across the UK begin voting on Wednesday to elect a successor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady has announced.
Johnson was forced to resign after dozens of government officials resigned in protest after a series of scandals.
Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat, Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi and Suella Braverman all secured the 20 parliamentary colleague nominations needed to enter the contest.
Moments before the announcement in a House of Commons committee room, former health secretary Sajid Javid said he was stepping down after apparently failing to attract enough support.
Earlier, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced he was dropping his candidacy and would back Sunak, the former chancellor.
Backbench Rehman Chishti – seen as the rank outsider – also said he was quitting after not getting enough nominations.
Meanwhile, Truss, the Foreign Secretary, won the endorsement of prominent Johnson loyalists Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nadine Dorries and James Cleverly in what was seen as a concerted move to keep Sunak out. at No. 10.
Many of the prime minister’s supporters remain furious with Sunak for his role in his downfall, with his decision last week to resign helping spark a new round of resignations.
Britain’s next leader faces a daunting entry plateau as support for the Tories is also down, polls show.
The UK economy is facing soaring inflation, high debt and weak growth, as people grapple with the tightest strain on their finances in decades, all against a backdrop of energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine which caused fuel prices to skyrocket.
As the contest escalated, the rival campaigns stepped up their private criticism of each other and highlighted financial or other issues weighing on their opponents.
Sunak kicked off his campaign by portraying himself as the serious candidate, promising “adult” honesty “not fairy tales”, seeking to distance himself from the deep tax cuts promised by most other candidates.
“It’s not credible to promise a lot more spending and lower taxes,” Sunak said, saying tax cuts could only come after the surge in inflation is tackled.
As finance minister, Sunak put the UK on track to have its biggest tax burden since the 1950s, and most other hopefuls turned fire on him saying they would immediately oversee the cuts .
The former finance minister enjoys the widest support among his colleagues who have publicly expressed their views.
Mordaunt, a junior trade minister who is also strongly tipped, came out on top in a poll of Tory members on Monday and she too tried to strike a more measured tone on taxes, saying that while she would cut taxes : “I will be the pioneer of healthy money”.
“I’m a small state, low-tax conservative, but I also believe we need to use the levers of government to support jobs and livelihoods in tough economic times,” she wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The 1922 committee of Tory MPs organizing the contest say the field will soon be narrowed with repeat votes over the next few weeks, with the final two then selected by the party’s under 200,000 members by July 21.
The winner and the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will be announced on September 5.
Meanwhile, the opposition Labor Party said the government had blocked its attempt to call a vote of confidence in Johnson on Wednesday to force him out of office immediately.
The government has said it would allow Labor to call a vote of confidence if the wording of the motion is changed to remove the reference to Johnson.