Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned from the Conservative Party on Thursday. As prime minister, he will remain in office until a new leader is selected.
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It is unlikely that the country will have to go to the polls again since the Conservative Party won the last election in a landslide. Next week, the 1922 Committee, a small group of Conservative legislators inside Parliament, will set rules for a new leadership contest that will select Johnson’s successor from among about 350 Conservative lawmakers.
These Are Five Possible Candidates To Succeed Boris Johnson, U.K. Prime Minister
The winner of the Conservative Party contest will become the new British prime minister under the British parliamentary system.
During a similar process in 2019, Johnson emerged as the clear leader, and many of his longtime allies and opponents have expressed interest in running for the country’s top post.
These are some of the candidates who could – based on popularity, experience, or expressions of interest – compete to become the next British prime minister:
After Sunak resigned from his position as chancellor of the Exchequer – Britain’s second most senior political office overseeing the treasury – on Tuesday night, a cascade of subsequent resignations resulted in Johnson stepping down as Conservative Party leader. As a former investment banker, he was elected to the British Parliament in 2015. His popularity soared during the Coronavirus pandemic as he introduced a number of policies to provide financial aid to citizens. After a controversy over his wife’s taxes and a criminal fine for violating lockdown rules, he quickly became a favorite to replace Johnson.
The resignation of Javid, a former treasury chief and health secretary until recently, also contributed to Johnson’s resignation as leader of the Conservative Party. Since 2010, he has served as a member of parliament. He had previously worked for Chase Manhattan & Deutsche Bank as a trader. After Theresa May resigned in the midst of a long-running legislative saga over Brexit, Javid ran against Johnson for the conservative leadership, then endorsed him. He stepped down after clashing with Johnson over choosing his own advisers as finance minister. A ministerial scandal in 2021 led to him returning to government service. The speech he delivered this week was widely regarded as the starting gun for a new leadership challenge against Johnson.
Wallace is one of the longer-serving lawmakers considered a front-runner. He has won accolades for his role as Britain’s defense minister in supporting Ukrainian military efforts to resist Russia’s invasion this year as a former soldier elected to Parliament in 2005. In recent months, he has kept a low profile amid rising criticism of Johnson’s behavior after assisting another of Johnson’s earlier aborted leadership campaigns following the U.K.’s referendum to leave the European Union. After Princess Diana’s death in a 1997 car accident, he was among the soldiers tasked with returning her body from Paris following her death in Germany, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland. Despite declining to say whether he would run for the Conservative Party leadership, he is often seen as a leading candidate in grassroots polls.
Throughout the pandemic, Hunt chaired Parliament’s health committee, providing important and often respected scrutiny of the policies of Johnson’s government as the runner-up in the 2019 leadership contest. In his almost decade-long career in the British Cabinet, he served as minister of culture, health, and foreign affairs. As health secretary, he cut services and clashed with junior doctors due to budgetary constraints, but he recently published a book on patient safety in Britain’s National Health Service, according to his wide support among Conservative colleagues.