The Battle to Replace Boris Johnson Starts Now

Conservative contenders to face elimination votes before final decision by party members
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2022 11:02 AM CDT
How the Battle to Replace Boris Johnson Will Play Out
British Conservative Party member Rishi Sunak launches his campaign for the Conservative Party leadership in London on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

The battle is on to replace British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with at least 10 Conservative Party lawmakers throwing their hats in the ring Tuesday. Nominations will be accepted until 6pm local time, though candidates will need the support of at least 20 of the 358 Conservative members of Parliament to face the first in a series of elimination votes on Wednesday. They'll need at least 30 votes to move on to Thursday's vote. Former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, whose resignation last week helped lead to Johnson's own, is "the perceived front-runner" at the moment with "the backing of more than three dozen lawmakers," per the AP.

Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, backbench lawmaker Tom Tugendhat, and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss—who's viewed by some Johnson allies as "a 'stop Sunak' candidate for the party's right wing," per the AP—have also passed the 20-vote threshold, per the Independent. Others likely to do so include Treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, per the AP. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who initially announced his candidacy, soon after withdrew and backed Sunak, whose measures to introduce tax increases for millions of workers and corporations during the coronavirus pandemic have ruffled feathers.

Nearly all of the candidates have said they'll eliminate Sunak's 1.25% income-tax rise for certain workers, the corporation tax increase from 19% to 25% set for 2023, or both. Truss appears to back a corporation tax cut, per Reuters. Sunak, meanwhile, says "it is not credible to promise lots more spending and low taxes," per the AP. The party hopes to have two final candidates by July 21, the start of the summer break. After a campaign, they'll face off in a mail vote by fewer than 200,000 party members across the country. The winner and new prime minister is set to be announced Sept. 5. Johnson, who has refused to endorse anyone, will serve as caretaker PM until that time. (More Boris Johnson stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.