Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who returned to London on Saturday with the stated ambition of succeeding Liz Truss, announced on Sunday his withdrawal from the race for the Conservative Party presidency, in yet another twist in which British policy is now the secret. His decision, taken in the name of “unity”, paves the way for the dubbing of former finance minister Rishi Sunak.
The troublemaker of the Tories, who led the government from 2019 to 2022, had been forced to broadcast on July 7 following a series of scandals against the backdrop of the fight against the epidemic of COVID-19 (the “Partygate”) . Back from a Caribbean vacation, two days after Liz Truss resigned at the end of a 44-day term, Boris Johnson embarked on a blitzkrieg on Saturday to cut the 100 MP endorsements needed for his candidacy for the presidency of the Conservative party. However, his candidacy had not been formalized.
It just wasn’t the right thing to do
The Conservative Party, in an accelerated procedure, had theoretically set Monday 1:00 p.m. GMT for the filing of candidacies. If two candidates were to present themselves, they would be decided in an internal election, the result of which would be announced on Friday October 28, immediately followed by the nomination of the winner at 10 Downing Street. The rebound on Sunday could change this scenario, with the announcement of a Prime Minister on Monday. ‘There was a very good chance I would win the Conservative Party election – and be back in Downing Street on Friday’Boris Johnson said in a statement. “But in the last few days I’ve come to the sad conclusion that it just wasn’t the right thing to do.”he said. “You cannot govern effectively if you cannot govern from a united party in Parliament”, he adds, implicitly evoking the tension caused by his attempt to “comeback”.
He had collected explanations from the sponsorships of 102 MPs but failed to convince the other two suitors, former finance minister Rishi Sunak and former defense minister Penny Mordaunt, to unite “in the interest of the Nation”. “As a result, the best thing is that I do not push my candidacy any further and that I commit to sustaining support will prevail”he declares. “I think I have a lot to offer, but it’s just not the right time”.
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The withdrawal of ‘Bojo’ leaves the field open to fellow bookmaker favorite Rishi Sunak, who the BBC says has 150 sponsorships at this stage. If he is the only contender with the required number of endorsements, he could be appointed Prime Minister as early as this Monday, according to the rules established by the Tories. Penny Mordaunt only had 23 sponsorships as of Sunday.
A former banker…
Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss’ ill-fated rival for the post of Prime Minister, announced his candidacy on Twitter on Sunday to “recover” the British economy and “unite” the Conservative Party. This 42-year-old former banker had strongly criticized Liz Truss’ economic program during the internal campaign, massive cuts in judicial taxes then unrealistic, and whose announcement in September activated a storm on the markets.
2/ Although he has decided not to run again as Prime Minister, I sincerely hope that he will continue to contribute to public life in his country and abroad.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) October 23, 2022
Rishi Sunak, whose economic temperance is able to reassure, had left the Johnson government with a bang in July, triggering a revolt within the Tories. He has made accusations of treason against the former Prime Minister, with whom relations are now strained. In a tweet published Sunday evening, the ex-minister pays tribute to the action of Boris Johnson and says he hopes that he will continue to work for the life of the Nation. If Boris Johnson had persevered in his choice, “the party would have imploded”testified Sunday evening a support of Sunak, under the seal of anonymity. “I was backing Boris for the job of prime minister, but I think he made the right decision for the country”considers for its part on Twitter the conservative MP Lucy Allan.
Current Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt, who is due to present a revised draft budget on October 31, backs Sunak’s appointment, according to the Telegraph. If Rishi Sunak were to be appointed, it would be Britain’s fifth prime minister in six years. The stakes are vital for the Tories, who are promised to be defeated by the polls for the legislative elections of 2024.