Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Eight candidates make cut in race to succeed UK PM Johnson

Economy Jul 12, 2022 05:40PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak gestures before delivering a speech during the annual Conservative Party Conference, in Manchester, Britain, October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files 2/3

By Elizabeth Piper, Alistair Smout and Andrew MacAskill

LONDON (Reuters) - Eight Conservatives will fight it out to succeed Boris Johnson as party leader and British prime minister after winning enough nominations from their colleagues to go through to the first round of voting on Wednesday.

Only two hopefuls failed to secure the 20 necessary nominations, leaving a wide field of candidates seeking to win the backing of the party with promises of tax cuts, honesty and serious government - a contrast to Johnson who was forced to announce he would resign after a series of scandals.

Former finance minister Rishi Sunak is the bookmakers' favourite, and among those he will be taking on are his successor Nadhim Zahawi and foreign minister Liz Truss in what is becoming an increasingly bitter and divisive contest. (Graphic: How will a new UK PM be chosen? https://graphics.reuters.com/BRITAIN-POLITICS/gkplgerqovb/graphic.jpg)

The next British leader faces a daunting in-tray while support for the Conservatives is also falling, polls show.

Britain's economy is facing rocketing inflation, high debt, and low growth as people grapple with the tightest squeeze on their finances in decades. All of this is set against a backdrop of an energy crunch exacerbated by the war in Ukraine which has sent fuel prices soaring.

As the contest intensifies, rival campaigns stepped up private criticism of each other and pointed to either financial or other questions hanging over their opponents.

Sunak kicked off his campaign by portraying himself as the serious candidate, promising "grown-up" honesty "not fairy tales", seeking to contrast himself with the extensive tax cuts pledged by most of the other candidates.

"It is not credible to promise lots more spending and lower taxes," Sunak said, saying tax cuts could only come after soaring inflation was tackled.

As finance minister, Sunak set Britain on course to have its biggest tax burden since the 1950s after he oversaw a huge rise in government spending during the coronavirus pandemic, and most of the other hopefuls have turned their fire on him by saying they would oversee cuts immediately.

'DIRTY TRICKS'

Sunak has the widest support among colleagues who have publicly expressed their view.

Penny Mordaunt, a junior trade minister who is also heavily tipped, topped a poll of Conservative party members and she too has tried to strike a more measured tone on tax, saying that now is not the time to cut government spending.

"The others will obviously try to secure votes, they will try to put up flares for particular caucuses," she told LBC radio. "This is not the time to be making radical tax policies and promises."

Attorney General Suella Braverman; the former health and foreign minister Jeremy Hunt; Tom Tugendhat, chair of parliament's foreign affairs committee; and Kemi Badenoch, a former junior minister who is scooping up support on the right wing of the party, are the other candidates to enter the first round of the contest.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier became the first candidate to end his bid, throwing his support behind Sunak, while Home Secretary (interior minister) Priti Patel announced she would not be standing.

Foreign Secretary Truss received the backing of two ministers closest to Johnson - Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg - who have both been critical of Sunak.

Dorries accused Sunak of using "dirty tricks" to manipulate the leadership contest, with votes being loaned to Hunt's campaign because they view him as easier to beat.

Sunak's team did not respond to a request for comment.

The 1922 Committee of Conservative members of parliament which is organising the contest says the field will soon be whittled down with repeated votes in the next few weeks, with the final two then selected by the fewer than 200,000 party members by July 21.

The winner, and Britain's new prime minister, will be announced on Sept. 5.

Meanwhile, the opposition Labour Party said the government was "running scared" after it blocked an attempt to call a confidence vote in Johnson on Wednesday to force him from office immediately.

The government said Labour was trying to "play politics" and it would allow Labour to call a confidence vote if the wording of the motion was changed to remove reference to Johnson.

Eight candidates make cut in race to succeed UK PM Johnson
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
John Hat
John Hat Jul 12, 2022 9:06AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
He's a liberal.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email