Replacement of Boris Johnson: the suitors come out of the woodwork
Boris Johnson succession contender Rishi Sunak (right) sits next to the Prime Minister during a Cabinet meeting.
Maneuvering began on Friday to replace British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after his resignation sparked by an unprecedented political crisis, and his former finance minister Rishi Sunak was the one to replace him. one of the very first to position himself for his succession.
Mr Johnson resigned on Thursday, let go by the Conservative Party exhausted by repeated scandals which marked the 2 years and 349 days in power of the charismatic former Brexit hero.
Between Tuesday and Thursday, some 60 members of his government – ministers, state secretaries and other aides with lesser responsibilities – had resigned after a new scandal, leaving him no other option.
I am running to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister. Let's restore confidence, rebuild the economy and bring the country together, Rishi Sunak, who is among the favorites in a still very open race, said on Twitter Friday evening.
My values are non-negotiable, patriotism, justice, and hard work, he added in a video where he particularly emphasizes the importance of his family.
The 42-year-old former finance minister was one of the first to throw in the towel on Tuesday night, apparently without even telling Boris Johnson, along with Health Minister Sajid Javid.
Sajid Javid, as he leaves his London home
These two resignations within minutes of each other had paved the way for dozens of others, elected officials criticizing Boris Johnson for his lack of integrity.
If the Prime Minister has resigned, he has not yet left Downing Street, specifying that he will remain in power until his successor is appointed.
This situation, which could last until the fall, is making people cringe, as the country faces record inflation of 9%, the worst of the G7 countries, and a rise in social unrest, in a context of war in Ukraine.
Mr. Johnson is a proven liar drowned in corruption, we can't go another two months like this, deputy Labor opposition leader Angela Rayner said, calling on Friday for a caretaker prime minister, on the BBC.
“If they don't, we are very clear that we will present a motion of no confidence before the [July 22] recess.”
—Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labor Opposition
Spokesperson for Mr Johnson however ruled out that Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab will take over as interim. The Prime Minister acts in accordance with the convention. He remains prime minister until a new party leader is in place and the work of government will continue during that time, he said.
Newly-appointed Education Minister James Cleverly has assured that the process of appointing the new Tory leader will be conducted professionally, but quickly. Some elected officials, however, fear a chaotic summer.
Boris Johnson, during the announcement of his resignation, Thursday, outside his official residence at 10 Downing Street.
Mr. Johnson assured after his resignation that his hastily reconstituted government (12 ministers and secretaries of state were appointed on Thursday and 7 on Friday) would not seek to implement new policies or make major changes. The big budget decisions will be left to the next prime minister.
Details of the procedure to succeed him will be announced on Monday by the 1922 Committee, a conservative parliamentary group.
The appointment of the new leader of the party, who will become prime minister – the party having the majority in the House of Commons – must take place before the annual convention of the party on October 2 in Birmingham.
MP Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, has already announced himself as a candidate. Attorney General Suella Braveman also expressed interest.
Among the potential candidates, the best placed would be Defense Minister Ben Wallace. Next are Rishi Sunak, Foreign Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Health Minister Sajid Javid.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
And already the knives are out: Boris Johnson loyalist Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose minister for Brexit opportunities he is, launched an all-out attack on Mr Sunak on Friday , whose resignation would have enraged Boris Johnson.
Rishi Sunak was unsuccessful as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was a high-tax chancellor, unaware of the inflation problem, he said even before his candidacy was announced.
< p class="e-p">In announcing his resignation, Mr. Johnson, 58, had not had a word for the wave of departures unprecedented in 48 hours, or the turbulence of his mandate and the accusations exposing his lies and his lack of integrity.
He said he was immensely proud of his record, and denounced the powerful herd instinct at Westminster, an attack direct against those who had abandoned him en masse.