Race for U.K. prime minister is on (again) after Liz Truss quits

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LONDON – After chaos filled with political crises, Britain finds itself back where it used to be – some of the same faces vying to become the country’s third prime minister in just eight weeks, with a stunned public watching from the sidelines.

Supporters of the three perceived front-runners – Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and yes, Boris Johnson – were quick to come out of the blocks on Friday to make their pitches for why their person should get the keys to 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s residence.

Could Johnson make an extraordinary political comeback? Rumors are rife that Johnson, who was the 55th British Prime Minister, may become the 57th. The Bring Boris back movement and the hashtag #BorisorBust are active. Johnson was on holiday in the Caribbean when Liz Truss announced her resignation on Thursday. His colleague James Duddridge told the Press Association that he was coming back with the idea: “We’re going to do it. I am ready for it.”

Former finance minister Sunak, the bookies’ favourite, fell to the truss in the last leadership contest. Sunak was critical of calling the Truss plan “fantasy island” economics to cut taxes and increase debt.

How Liz Truss Became the Shortest-Serving Prime Minister in UK History

The only formally announced candidate as of Friday evening, however, was Mordaunt, the Tory leader in the House of Commons, who is little known to the public but polls well with members of the Conservative Party.

“I am encouraged by the new beginnings, the united party and the support of colleagues who want leadership in the national interest,” Mordaunt tweeted.

Most of the action is happening behind the scenes. “Everything will be on the phone, in WhatsApp groups, behind closed doors as people try to get enough nominations,” said Jill Rutter, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government, a think tank.

The party has set an incredibly short time frame for electing a new leader and plans to wrap up the contest in a week. Candidates have until 2pm on Monday to secure the single support of at least 100 of the 357 Conservative MPs in Parliament.

If only one person clears that threshold, it’s this: a new leader to install the Tories as the country’s leader. If two or three candidates qualify, the finalists will be determined by rounds of voting among Conservative Party MPs and then an online vote will be held on October 28 by the party’s 170,000 dues-paying members.

As of Friday, Sunak was leading the count of publicly declared supporters, according to the BBC. Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood announced on Twitter that he was the 100th member to back Sunak’s candidacy – but Sunak has yet to cross the threshold in the BBC’s official tally.

While he was particularly quiet, he did not deny himself, and his Ready for Rishi team members quickly revived their operations. He points out that he got the most support from his colleagues in the last competition and says many of his financial ideas were spot-on.

Dominic Raab, a former deputy prime minister under Johnson, who Stood up for his former boss He is one of Sunak’s supporters when he is hospitalized due to Covid-19. Johnson’s former health secretary, Sajid Javid, who tweeted that Sunak “has what it takes to meet the challenges.”

Meanwhile, Johnson’s supporters want him to return from his plow – like a classical hero Cincinnatus brought back to deal with the crisis, which Johnson referred to in his resignation speech.

Boris Johnson compared himself to Cincinnatus in his last speech. WHO?

Those in the Bring Back Boris camp argue that Johnson is the only contender who has the national “mandate” to lead after his 2019 general-election victory.

“The British people elected a person by manifesto and mandate by January 25. If Liz Truss is no longer Prime Minister then failed candidates cannot be crowned. Tweeted Nadine Dorries, a Johnson loyalist.

Johnson is Top pick Of the 170,000 Conservative Party members, according to the poll. But it is far from certain that a rebooted Johnson will bolster the party – or improve its standing with the wider electorate. Eventually, Johnson was forced to resign after several scandals raised questions about his integrity and when his own Conservative MPs concluded that he was unfit to lead.

At the start of the year under Johnson’s leadership, the Conservatives began falling behind the opposition Labor Party for the first time in a year.

He is also being investigated by the House of Commons for misleading lawmakers over “PartyGate” and could be suspended from Parliament.

Tory MP David Davies told LBC radio that Johnson should “go back to the beach.” Former Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who is popular with the middle class, Tweeted“Only a nation that has been consumed by pessimistic despair and no longer believes that its unfolding tragedies can receive a serious response would seek refuge under the leadership of a clown.”

Rutter was surprised that Johnson could not officially announce his candidacy or that he was falling short of the endorsement. “If he’s struggling to get to 100, does he want him to know he tried? Or he would just say: ‘Oh, all my supporters were doing that. I’m very happy to cut short my vacation in the Caribbean and spend a lot of money.”

Ben Wallace, the popular defense secretary who was seen by some as a contender, took himself out of the race on Friday, saying he was “leaning” toward Johnson.

Ukraine’s government, for its part, seemed to champion Johnson’s return as well. The government’s official Twitter account posted a meme — later deleted — with the caption “Better Call Boris” next to a picture of Johnson on a poster from the Netflix series “Better Call Saul.”

While the new leader may bring political change, Britain’s support for Ukraine is not expected to break.

Mordaunt is the dark horse in the race. But her PM4PM supporters note that she is more popular among Conservative Party members than Sunak.

She is not well known among the general public — in one survey, most respondents Could not give her name When shown her photo. But in the waning days of Truss’s tenure, her visibility was boosted when she stood in parliament for prime minister.

Perhaps her most memorable line was: “Prime Ministers are not under desks.” But she handled hostile questions deftly and showed her parliamentary wrangling skills.

Penny Mordaunt could be Britain’s next Prime Minister. Few people know who she is.

Outside the Conservative bubble, general elections are being called for.

Some say that this method of electing the Prime Minister is undemocratic. The new leader will be chosen by parliamentary insiders, or, if he turns to Conservative Party membership, 170,000 people – less than 0.3 percent of the country.

But with Johnson’s Tories winning the 2019 general election, the deadline for the next general election is not until January 2025. And given how far down he is in the polls, he’s unlikely to call an early election. Which can destroy them.



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