British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s potential successors rushed to make a difference with an increasingly crowded field on Sunday as the ruling Conservative Party is expected to set a tight timetable for election.
The candidates have released slick campaign videos on social media and appeared on political talk shows on Sunday morning to publicize their cases. Some promise tax cuts, appealing to rank-and-file Conservatives, for whom low taxes are a mantra.
Johnson announced his resignation on Thursday after more than 50 members of his cabinet and junior officials resigned from his government, many fearing that his ethical flaws have undermined government reputation.
That has triggered competition within the Conservative Party to choose a new party leader. According to Britain’s parliamentary government, the next party leader will automatically become prime minister without a general election.
International Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Secretary of State Liz Truss announced their bids on Sunday. Mordaunt said the UK “needs to become a little less about the leader and more about the ship.” Truss pledged to reverse the increase in national insurance rates and “start cutting taxes from Day 1”.
Former medical secretaries Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt entered one of the most open leadership races in recent history late on Saturday.
Other candidates include leader Rishi Sunak, a former treasurer, and Nadim Zahawi, who took over as prime minister of Sunak last week.
The race comes after Johnson, 58, was fired by a series of scandals, the most recent of which involved his decision to promote a lawmaker who had been accused of sexual misconduct to a senior position. high in his government.
An influential Conservative Party committee is expected to lay out the rules for the leadership contest on Monday, with bulletins suggesting that Conservative lawmakers will narrow the field down. There are two left before Parliament breaks for the summer on July 21. Party members around the country will then vote on the final choice before the end of August, the Times of London reports.
Johnson has said he will remain prime minister until his successor is chosen. But many want him gone now, even some Conservative Party politicians worry he might do mischief even as a caretaker prime minister.
As politicians took to the air to endorse the candidates on Sunday, many sought to separate their favorites from the chaos of the Johnson years by emphasizing traits like “integrity” and “honest”.
Karan Bilimoria, former president of the Confederation of British Industry, said the decision needed to be made as quickly as possible as businesses were still struggling to weather the impact of the pandemic and were facing the possibility of growing recession needs help now.
“We have to get through this phase as quickly as possible and find a good leader who can rebuild trust,” he told Times Radio. “It’s also rebuilding trust with the country. The country has lost that trust and businesses are worried.”