August 10, 2022

Boris Johnson Resigns as Prime Minister – Right here’s Who May Exchange Him

Boris Johnson

By Victoria Honeyman

Most prime ministers would have resigned over any one of many scandals to engulf Boris Johnson’s authorities. Johnson, by no means one for custom or guidelines, rode out practically each disaster – however the Chris Pincher affair was the ultimate straw. Led by Well being Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, over 50 members of Johnson’s authorities resigned in a day and a half. Johnson has now resigned as get together chief, vowing to stay PM till a brand new chief is chosen.

Johnson was not a typical chief, and his successor can have a tough job. They might want to strengthen the Conservative get together earlier than the following common election (which might come sooner moderately than later). They might want to distance themselves from the extra problematic elements of Johnson’s legacy, whereas steadying the ship and interesting to the voters. Listed here are the seemingly runners and riders for this seemingly unimaginable process:

Ben Wallace

Whereas not maybe as effectively referred to as a few of the candidates, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is taken into account a severe contender. He has been pivotal within the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and was clear within the run-up to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan that motion was wanted to evacuate UK residents and others at risk. He didn’t resign from Johnson’s cupboard, which could depend in opposition to him, however he actually appears like a powerful candidate. Early polling suggests Wallace is the candidate to beat, however the marketing campaign will take a look at his early recognition.

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Penny Mordaunt

Minister of State for Commerce Coverage Penny Mordaunt isn’t essentially a family identify, however she could be very revered inside the Conservative get together. Mordaunt was a short-lived however well-respected defence minister and lately Royal Navy reservist. She beforehand served as secretary of state for worldwide growth (earlier than the division was merged with the International Workplace). Like Wallace, Mordaunt caught by Johnson over the previous few days, however her recognition inside the get together would possibly enable her to beat that concern, significantly if she will be able to play up her pro-Brexit credentials.

Rishi Sunak

The previous chancellor was thought of the chief in ready within the early phases of the pandemic. His early successes with the furlough scheme elevated his standing and profile, however his star pale pretty shortly. Questions over his spouse’s tax standing and wealth typically made Sunak appear out of contact with voters. He was additionally, together with Johnson, fined by police over lockdown events in Downing Avenue. Whereas he stays a powerful candidate, he may need wished that his alternative to face for chief had come sooner.

Sajid Javid

Javid has the excellence of getting resigned from a Johnson cupboard twice. His first resignation, from his function as chancellor simply earlier than the pandemic, was pushed by his want to nominate his personal employees. He was invited again into cupboard after Matt Hancock’s resignation. Whereas thought of by many inside the get together as a really succesful MP, with a working-class background that may depend in his favour, some fear Javid confirmed a scarcity of judgment in rejoining the Johnson cupboard.

Nadhim Zahawi

Zahawi got here to public prominence when he spearheaded the vaccine rollout. His time as schooling secretary has been considered positively, however his transfer to the Treasury lower than two days earlier than telling Johnson to resign have made some query his motives. Notion that he allowed private ambition to override his ethical compass is prone to damage Zahawi. He might want to reply for this when requested by the get together and nation.

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Liz Truss

Presently abroad on official enterprise, the international secretary will undoubtedly be grateful to not have been caught up within the chaos of this week. However is she too absent? Whereas thought of by many a “secure pair of arms” she isn’t a dynamic candidate for chief, and it’s uncertain whether or not she will be able to turn into an electoral asset to the get together. If the Conservatives need a secure alternative as a substitute of one other “thrilling” chief to observe Johnson, Truss could have a shot.Truss may have a shot.

Dominic Raab

The deputy prime minister is one other potential chief in ready. He has occupied plenty of cupboard roles together with secretary of state for Brexit, international secretary and now justice minister. Whereas he actually has a high-ranking place, he has had plenty of missteps. As Brexit minister, he completed off the negotiations his predecessor David Davis started, then resigned as a result of he couldn’t settle for the deal he helped to finalise. As international secretary, he was criticised for his lack of velocity through the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. That, coupled together with his earlier feedback calling British employees the “worst idlers on the planet” earlier than he joined the cupboard, make him a protracted shot for Downing Avenue.

The remainder of the pack

On the backbenches, there are anticipated to be no less than three potential candidates – former Well being Secretary Jeremy Hunt, distinguished Brexiteer Steve Baker, and well-respected backbench MP Tom Tugendhat. For any backbencher desirous to catapult themselves into Downing Avenue, the trip is prone to be bumpy. A monitor report of success is normally wanted. That is tougher for a backbencher, both as a result of they’ve by no means been in cupboard, or as a result of they’ve left cupboard (normally after being requested to). These people have a protracted street forward of them.

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There will likely be others who could need to scope out their prospects with the get together. Cupboard secretaries Priti Patel and even Jacob Rees-Mogg would possibly take a look at the water, however they’re prone to discover it chilly.

The battle forward will inevitably have its twists and turns, and it’s virtually unimaginable to foretell the end result. Many inside the Conservative get together, and maybe the nation, will likely be hoping for much less thrilling occasions than they’ve lately lived by.

This text was initially revealed in The Dialog on 7 July 2022. It may be accessed right here:

In regards to the Creator

Victoria HoneymanVictoria Honeyman – Affiliate Professor of British Politics, College of Leeds. Since finishing my PhD right here on the College of Leeds in 2005, I’ve taught on a variety of modules. My main specialism is British Politics, with a specific specialism in British international coverage. I’ve written extensively on the international coverage goals of each the Conservative and Labour Events. I’m the previous Chair of the the BISA International Coverage Working Group . My PhD was a essential biography of the Labour MP Richard Crossman and was revealed in 2007.