the billionaire Rishi Sunak He was on his way this Monday to become the new British Prime Minister, replacing Liz Trussand the first president to emerge from an ethnic minority in the United Kingdomafter what Boris Johnson will leave the day before a controversial return.
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Two months after failing in his first attempt to lead the Conservative Party and run the government Sunak42, of Indian origin, could emerge as the only candidate with enough support, at least 100 conservative deputies, when the term closes at 2:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. GMT).
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Johnson announced on Sunday night that he would not run to succeed the resigning Truss — who had replaced himself on September 6 — leaving only two candidates: former Finance Minister Sunak and Parliamentary Relations Minister Penny Mordaunt.
However, the latter, despite presenting itself as “the best positioned to unify the party” with “backing from all wings” of the formation, only had a few dozen supports hours before the closing of applications while Sunak was close to 190, according to the British press.
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If confirmed, the situation could precipitate as of Monday afternoon, with resignation speeches from Truss and acceptance of Sunak and two visits to King Charles III to formalize the appointment of the third British Prime Minister in two months.
Johnson58, whose eventual candidacy deeply divided the Conservative Partyassured on Sunday that he had the 100 necessary supports, but he preferred not to appear.
“It wouldn’t be the right thing to do,” he said. “You cannot govern effectively if there is not a united party in Parliament,” added the controversial former leader, forced by his formation to resign in July following an accumulation of scandals.
Johnson was vacationing with his family in the Dominican Republic when Truss announced his resignation Thursday., sunk by the financial chaos he caused with his controversial fiscal policies after only a month and a half in power. On Saturday, Johnson teased his return to London to test the waters for a possible political comeback.
He claimed to be “well placed to achieve a Conservative victory in 2024”, the date of the next legislative elections, and to have “many chances of success in the election with members of the Conservative Party”, but stated that he was giving up due to the inability to unite the formation.
His decision opened the door for Sunakhis former Finance Minister whom many accuse of having triggered the fall of Johnsonbecome the first politician from an ethnic minority to lead the UK.
This billionaire ex-banker, the grandson of Indian immigrants who studied in the schools of the British elite, will also become the first head of government of the Hindu religion at the time Diwali begins, important Hindu festival very popular among the British Indian community.
Mordaunt does not give up
Mordaunt49, said on Sunday that she was sticking with her bid to become the country’s fourth prime minister, after the short-lived Trussand applauded Johnson’s resignation: “By making this difficult decision, he put the Country ahead of the Party, and the Party ahead of himself,” he tweeted Monday.
If the minister ends up obtaining the necessary support, it will be the nearly 170,000 members of the Conservative Party who decide the winner through an online vote whose result will be known on Friday.
But since Truss’s election in September has already made it clear that these, the vast majority of whom are white men over 50, do not vote with the same criteria as the Conservative MPs, they foresee an “indicative vote” on Monday afternoon to show your preferences to the bases.
Sunak, defender of budgetary orthodoxy, appears to many right-wing legislators as the right person to reassure the markets and lead the UK out of the economic and social crisis aggravated by Truss’s ultra-liberal plans at a time of high inflation.
Meanwhile, the opposition Labor Party, with an overwhelming lead in the polls, insists on calling for early general elections. An option already supported by a majority of British.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.