After a turbulent six-week tenure, Liz Truss resigned at a media talk held at 10 Downing Street.
She succeeded the office of the Prime Minister after running against Rishi Sunak following the ouster of Boris Johnson through a vote of no-confidence.
The shortest-serving PM admitted that she could not deliver her mandate. “I recognize, though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party”, she said.
While Liz Truss was highly unpopular since her assumption as the Prime Minister, she secured a 57 percent majority against Rishi Sunak this summer. Liz Truss’ U-turn on her economic plans and the appointment of a new Exchequer Chancellor opened her political career to fierce criticism. In addition, the introduction of a mini-budget disrupted the dangling-by-a-thread markets.
From its inception, speculation suggested that Liz Truss would not last long in the office. The public saw this coming, but the question remains, who will the next prime minister be?
Ex-chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, former leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch, Minister of State for Security Tom Tugendhat and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman. In a surprising turn of events, Boris Johnson will also contest against these MPs to be the Prime Minister again.
Other predicted candidates included Jeremy Hunt, Ben Wallace, Theresa May and Michael Gove.
Members of the house will once again select a successor between these MPs in an accelerated week-long contest. Liz Truss’ resignation after 44 days from becoming the PM is viewed by her supporters as a sensible move, yet there is a public demand for earlier general elections.
Rishi Sunak surpassed the poll of MPs in the summer but lost against Liz Truss. If he becomes the Prime Minister, he will be the first premier with Indian origins in the UK. However, there seems to be rising unpopularity amongst the Tory MPs for Rishi Sunak as his affluence and his family’s non-domiciled status to minimize their tax could be used against them by the Labour party.
However, Rishi Sunak is the first MP to secure more than 100 votes from the Tory party. Amongst the massive support from his colleagues, Sajid Javid and David Frost are seen to be crucial for Rishi Sunak. Sajid Javid, a former supporter of Boris Johnson in 2019 and Liz Truss in the summer of 2022, now publicly endorses Rishi Sunak.
Although David Frost was a key ally and advisor of Boris Johnson, who was awarded a peerage and brought into the cabinet, now openly endorses Rishi. This is seen as a big win for Rishi Sunak.
Penny Mordaunt, who finished third place in the summer leadership contest, will be seen in the race again. She announced on Twitter today that she has been encouraged by her colleagues’ support. “I’m running to be the leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minster-to unite our country, deliver our pledges and win the next GE.”
The former defense secretary is a popular choice for most Tory MPs, but Tory leadership might be skeptical after Truss’s short tenure. However, Mordaunt can be the one to unite the conservatives. She, too, has massive support from the MPs, but not as high as Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.
While several potential candidates might run for Downing Street, popularity graphs suggest that there will ultimately be competition between Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
According to the Times, Boris Johnson will contest as he thinks it would be ‘in the national interest.’ Twitter hashtag #bringbackboris has been trending ever since the announcement of the elections has been made. Johnson, after his ouster, has gained a sympathetic groundswell within the party as strings of scandals and the economic pressure induced by the pandemic are considered ‘unfair’.
A Churchill-like comeback by Boris Johnson will put him under the mainstream limelight. Subsequently, a media heightened formal investigation into whether he deceived the parliament over lock-down merrymakings.
Sources now reveal that Johnson has secured over 100 votes from the parliament. While there are three candidates racing towards Downing Street, it is safe to say that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will have the final face-off.