Resignation of Liz Truss: who are the possible candidates for the post of British Prime Minister?

The war of succession is open. After the resignation of the British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, Thursday, October 20, an internal ballot in the conservative party, which must be completed by Friday, October 28, must make it possible to designate the future head of government across the Channel. Here are the possible candidates for the succession of the ephemeral conservative leader.

>> Follow the situation and reactions in the UK after the resignation of British Prime Minister Liz Truss

Rishi Sunak, the favorite ex-candidate of Conservative MPs

Rishi Sunak, August 31 in London.  (SUSANNAH IRELAND/AFP)

Beaten by Liz Truss during the final phase of the process of appointing the leader of the Conservative Party during the summer, the former finance minister of Boris Johnson was however then the preferred candidate of the Conservative MPs.

The 42-year-old wealthy former banker, grandson of Indian immigrants, embodies conservative budgetary orthodoxy. During the campaign against Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak repeatedly argued that unfunded tax cuts risked undermining market confidence and pushing inflation to a decades high. The facts proved him right.

But Rishi Sunak has a major handicap. Many of Boris Johnson’s loyalists see him as a traitor, whose resignation earlier this summer precipitated the former Downing Street tenant’s downfall.

Penny Mordaunt, the favorite of activists at the start of the campaign

Leader of the British House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, answering an urgent questions session in the House of Commons, in London, on October 17, 2022. (JESSICA TAYLOR / UK PARLIAMENT / AFP)

She is also a candidate against Liz Truss to succeed Boris Johnson this summer, the Minister for Relations with Parliament was the darling of Conservative activists at the start of the campaign.

Charismatic, this 49-year-old former Minister of Defense distinguished herself in Parliament, where she replaced Liz Truss in the face of the opposition, defending with confidence the spectacular change in economic direction, and explaining that the Prime Minister “don’t hide under a desk”. The hypothesis of a Mordaunt-Sunak ticket has even recently emerged.

Ben Wallace, a possible figure of unity for the conservative party

British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace during a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels on October 13, 2022. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

Among the favorites in the last campaign for the head of the Conservative Party, the Minister of Defense, who had chosen not to launch to devote himself to the security of the United Kingdom, saw his name reappear in recent days as a possible figure of unity for the party. Ben Wallace, 52, however, seemed to rule out this scenario, assuring Tuesday in the Times want to stay at La Défense.

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Jeremy Hunt, an experienced minister but deemed uncharismatic

Jeremy Hunt on October 17, 2022 in the House of Commons, London.  (PRU / AFP)

Minister of Finance for a week, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer has seemed, since his appointment by Liz Truss, to be the one who held the reins of power, as the Prime Minister seemed so weakened. It was he who announced on Monday the spectacular reversal of reversing almost all of the government’s tax measures, which created panic in the markets.

This 55-year-old former foreign minister, experienced but considered uncharismatic, however recently assured the BBC that after two failures, in 2019 and then this summer, he did not want to embark on a race for power.

Boris Johnson, the Brexit champion who drags pans behind him

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, giving his last speech outside 10 Downing Street, London, September 6, 2022. (ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

This is one of the scenarios circulating in the conservative press this summer: like a phoenix, the former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, would make a comeback, imposing himself as an obvious recourse.

On the strength of the electoral triumph at the end of 2019, which granted the Conservatives an unprecedented majority since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, “BoJo”, the hero of Brexit, nevertheless drags a few pans behind him. His departure forced by a succession of scandals, including that of the Downing Street parties in violation of anti-Covid restrictions, is not so far away and gives him some responsibility for the current debacle.

And, at a time when he is embracing a remunerative activity as a speaker around the world, it remains to be seen whether Boris Johnson, 58, would be ready to regain control of the party two years before legislative elections where the polls promise a landslide victory for the Labor opposition.

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