Liz Truss on her way, Downing Street blitz begins
The day after Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss was announced to be stepping down, the campaign to find his successor begins on Friday to ensure the UK has a new leader…
The day after British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ resignation was announced, the campaign to find his successor begins on Friday so that the UK can have a new head of government within a week at the latest.
No candidate is officially up for running yet, but potential contenders include ex-Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak, current Minister for Relations with Parliament Penny Mordaunt… and even ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is reportedly up for something more when he made a comeback three months after being forced to resign after a series of scandals.
Arriving at her post 44 days earlier, Liz Truss, very unpopular, finally gave up. She was swept up in a deep crisis of confidence after calming the market storm triggered by her government’s budget announcements.
“Given the situation, I cannot fulfill the mandate for which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” said the 47-year-old on Thursday in front of 10 Downing Street and announced her resignation in a short speech.
However, the day before she presented herself to Parliament as a “fighter”, “not a man of resignation”, but the level of suspicion outweighed her determination and made her the most volatile leader Britain has seen.
On Thursdays, the list of MPs demanding her departure grew by the hour, leaving Liz Truss with no choice but to leave.
His successor will lead a country that has plunged into a serious cost of living crisis, with inflation exceeding 10%, the highest in 40 years. The social environment is tense in the UK, where strikes have multiplied in recent months, particularly in transport.
The Conservative Party, in power for 12 years, has launched a fast-track procedure to appoint a new prime minister by Friday 28 October.
The candidates must have the support of at least 100 Tory MPs by 2pm (1pm GMT) Monday. A threshold that limits the number of candidates to a maximum of three, since the party has 357 MPs in the lower house.
Then MPs must either agree on two names, between which the 170,000 party members must decide by online voting by October 28, or on the name of a single person, who would then move straight into Downing Street. Meanwhile, Liz Truss remains in power.
For political scientist Tim Bale, a professor at Queen Mary University of London, the threshold of 100 sponsorships “probably” rules out Boris Johnson. “I don’t think MPs want to go back,” he told AFP. In July, “two-thirds of voters wanted to resign,” he recalls.
“It’s imaginary to think voters want him back,” he continued, before concluding, “but some Conservative MPs live in an imaginary world.”
Eight in 10 Brits believe Liz Truss was right, according to a YouGov poll published Thursday night.
It was the unveiling of a mini-budget on September 23 that included aid to pay energy bills but also massive and unfunded tax cuts that brought about the end of the prime minister. This plan had caused the pound to fall to an all-time low and sent the markets into a panic without causing a financial crisis without the Bank of England’s emergency intervention.
Liz Truss may have thanked her finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, before abandoning her project, but she didn’t manage to raise the bar until she broke unpopular records.
At a time when the Labor opposition is beating the Tories in all opinion polls, its leader, Keir Starmer, has called for a general election “now”. For her part, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon (anti-independence opponent) said it was a “democratic imperative”.
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