Here are the candidates for the next U.K. leader. Yes, Boris Johnson is one of them

by | Oct 21, 2022 | Top Stories

Enlarge this image

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among the contenders bidding to succeed Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

LONDON — Following the resignation of Liz Truss as Britain’s fourth prime minister in a little over six years, her Conservative party — in power since 2010 — is racing to select a replacement. Candidates have until this coming Monday to put their name forward, but party officials have announced that in order to be considered they will have to show they have the backing of 100 Conservative members of Parliament — around a third of the party’s legislators in the lower chamber of Britain’s parliament, the House of Commons. At most, this means there can only be three contenders for the first round of voting to decide the new party leader — and de-facto prime minister. That is designed to avoid a repeat of the earlier selection process this summer that ended with Liz Truss as the victor. It saw a large field of early candidates winnowed down to two, who then campaigned across Britain over the course of two months in a drawn-out contest that created a political vacuum and drew criticism at a time of a growing crisis for many Britons, who were struggling with soaring living costs.

This week, after the second resignation of a Conservative prime minister in just four months, leaders of Britain’s major opposition parties are demanding a general election instead, and calling the new selection process a Conservative “coronation.” While no candidates announced their interest immediately, here is a list of some possible replacements for Truss in No. 10 Downing Street.

Enlarge this image

Boris Johnson delivers his final speech as prime minister outside No. 10 Downing Street on Sept. 6.

Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

Boris Johnson Though he announced his resignation in a swirl of scandals just this past July and faces a parliamentary investigation into his behavior involving public statements about social gatherings in Downing Street during his time as prime minister, Johnson retains supporters inside the parliamentary party and among ordinary grassroots members. He stepped down under a tidal wave of pressure when dozens of members of his own government resigned their roles as ministers and junior ministers. They were angry with months of scandal involving breaches of lockdown among his staff – though he himself was also penalized by police — and for questions about his honesty and judgment after placing a man accused of sexual assault into a senior government role. He won a significant majority for his party during the 2019 general election, and his supporters contend that he is therefore the only real figure inside the Conservative party who can claim to have a mandate from the British people. Some critics have said they will leave the party if he returns.
And although Johnson was unwilling to leave Downing Street earlier this year, there has been little public indication that he wishes to take up once more what many will consider a poisoned chalice, given the country’s obvious economic and political challenges.

Enlarge this image

Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons on Oct. 11. Mordaunt insisted earlier this week to the amusement of many that Truss was not “hiding under a desk.”

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Penny Mordaunt Mordaunt was a well-supported third-place runner-u …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This