Sunak becomes the favorite to be prime minister after Johnson’s withdrawal

Sunak becomes the favorite to be prime minister after Johnson’s withdrawal

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak joke on a visit to a factory when they were both colleagues in the British Government / afp

The former ‘premier’ throws in the towel due to the rejection of his rivals to jointly form the leadership of a future Government in the United Kingdom

“I think I can offer a lot, but unfortunately this is not the right time.” With this sentence Boris Johnson put an end to his campaign to repeat as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He published his resignation at 10:15 p.m. Spanish time on Sunday night. Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, if he gets more than a hundred supports, are already the only declared candidates.

The announcement came after a day of speculation about Johnson’s ability to add the necessary hundred votes at 3:00 p.m. on Monday. His collaborators guaranteed that they already had them, and in his statement the British politician noted that he had “overcome the great obstacle of having 102 nominations”, including the two sponsors.

“I think I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024,” he says. He justifies his temptation to stand as a candidate to replace Liz Truss on the grounds that “I led our party to a massive electoral victory less than three years ago and therefore I believe I am in the best position to avoid an election now.” It is not, therefore, a farewell.

The opposition and the media have demanded early elections as a result of the final disorder of the Johnson Government and the rapid collapse of the Executive led by Truss. Close to Johnson they already defended his candidacy these days because, according to them, he gave continuity to the legitimacy of the conservatives to continue in the governorship of the United Kingdom.

In typical style, Johnson, who has spent much of his time on holiday since his ouster by the Cabinet and parliamentary group, points out that he had “a very good chance of success in the election by members of the Conservative Party, and that he could return to Downing Street on Friday. But “you cannot govern effectively if you don’t have a united party in Parliament,” he lamented.

The former Minister of the Economy, George Osborne, had already warned that it could not be ruled out that a majority of deputies would refuse to accept a Johnson victory among party members, if Sunak’s advantage this Monday was as overwhelming as the account says. current of current of deputies who have declared whom they will support.

Johnson claims that he made contact with Sunak and Mordaunt, “to unite in the national interest, but sadly we have not been able to find a way to do so.” Mordaunt claimed on Sunday morning that it was false that Johnson had contacted him, but the Bloomberg agency has published messages from Mordaunt to Johnson to negotiate a pact

‘The Spectator’ counted on Sunday afternoon 148 deputies who had declared their support for Sunak, 60 for Johnson and 25 for Mordaunt. The former finance minister has received significant endorsements from ‘ex-Johnsonites’ such as Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and Steve Baker. The feeling that a large section of the parliamentary group was opposed to his return seems to be the main reason for Johnson’s resignation.


The former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, who played a fundamental role in the response to the financial crisis that broke out in 2008, stated on the BBC that the crisis of recent days was triggered in the United Kingdom, but that it is a problem of inflation and financial stability common to other countries. The cause of it is, according to him, the excessive printing of money by central banks during the pandemic. He warned that straightening out public finances will require more painful measures than in that crisis.

Sunak confirmed his candidacy on Sunday morning, offering himself as the right politician for that situation. He recalls that he was “the minister who led the economy in the toughest times”, recalling the measures he took during the pandemic, and affirms that “the challenges we face are even greater, although the opportunities are phenomenal if we choose well” .

He also affirms that he has a plan and that his government will have “integrity, professionalism and responsibility.” He promises to “work day and night.” Johnson, for his part, had sent the deputies a document with data from the latest polls. They pointed out that, if elected, he would immediately reduce Labor’s lead in the polls.

Mordaunt can increase his support among Johnson’s supporters and the 224 deputies who have not declared their sympathies, to force the militants to vote. He is perhaps more popular than Sunak among party members outside London, although he says he doesn’t want to go into detail when asked about his financial plans and wears submariner’s badges that can only be worn by Royal Navy soldiers who have passed the course.

The desire of the upper echelons of the party is that there is a decision this Monday on who is the new leader and the prime minister. An indicative vote will be called in Parliament on the preference of the conservative group between the two candidates. It is a signal for the members of the party, who for the first time opposed the parliamentary group by electing Liz Truss.

The vote is secret and must be delivered to the 1922 Committee, which organizes the elections. The search for support and agreements has been carried out by email or telephone messages. It evokes the time when the election of party leader was arranged in private meetings between select ‘gentlemen’. The select ‘gentlemen’ and ‘ladies’ of 2022 will pressure the loser to retire and close this episode of the match.


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