The first one to replace Liz Truss. The race favorite says he is not going to run
After Liz Truss resigned, the Conservative Party began electing a new leader. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, cited as one of the favorites to replace Truss, announced on Friday that he would not be running for the role of Conservative party leader and, consequently, prime minister. He suggested that he would support the former head of government, Boris Johnson. House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt was the first to officially declare on Friday afternoon that she would be racing.
After British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced his resignation, the leader of the influential Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, announced that the election of the new Tory chairman, who would also take over the head of government, should be decided by Friday 28 October. The Reuters agency has identified seven potential successors to the shortest-ruling prime minister in the country’s history.
The defense minister says he will not take part in the race for the office of prime minister
Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced on Friday that he would not run for the head of the Conservative Party.
This declaration is of great importance for the result of the party elections, because he is the best-rated member of the government and was perceived as the person who is most able to unite the party engulfed in internal disputes. His support – even if it is not yet definitive – increases Johnson’s chances of returning to the prime minister’s office.
When asked on Friday if he intended to run for party leader position, Wallace replied, “You must really, really think this is a job for you.” As for me, I can add that I feel that I can bring the greatest value to the Ministry of Defense by ensuring the safety of people. This is the job I have been doing and this is the job I am going to continue doing. So I am not going to run for prime minister.
Who will the potential favorite support?
Wallace also chose not to seek leadership in July after Johnson announced his resignation, though polls indicated that he would be the main favorite to win.
As for who he would support in the election, Wallace explained that he needed to consider candidates’ approaches to pressing national security concerns and their plans for defense spending. He added that he also recognized the issue of the electoral mandate and the fact that the Conservatives would already have a third prime minister since their election victory in 2019. Boris Johnson – he declared.
Wallace’s resignation means the fight for leadership is likely to be between Johnson, former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, and House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt.
The first one to schedy after Truss
Mordaunt was the first to officially declare on Friday afternoon that she would run for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party and, consequently, for the office of British Prime Minister.
“I have been encouraged by the support of my colleagues who want a new opening, a united party and leadership in the national interest. I am running to become the leader of the Conservative Party and your prime minister – to unite our country, deliver on our promises and win the next general election,” Mordaunt wrote on Twitter.
Mordaunt is one of the three most likely to win the ongoing elections, although so far only 16 MPs have publicly declared their support for her, while former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has 64 club mates behind him and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson – 36.
To qualify for the election, contenders for leadership must enlist the support of at least 100 members of the Conservative MPs by Monday afternoon. Such a high threshold means that a maximum of three candidates may take part in the elections.
In the summer, after Johnson announced his resignation, Mordaunt ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party and became their dark horse in the early stages of the elections – in subsequent votes in the parliamentary club she was second, behind Sunak, and only in the last round of parliamentary votes was she overtaken by Truss by eight votes. After dropping out of the race, she endorsed Truss.
According to polls, both Mordaunt and Sunak are losing a hypothetical match among the party’s rank and file members with Johnson, and they will choose a leader from among the final two.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ANDY RAIN
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