Successors line up to replace departing British prime minister

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


The field is growing large as Conservative Party leaders jockey to replace soon-to-be-departing Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to the BBC, 11 names have emerged as potential successors for Johnson, who announced his resignation late last week after a months-long series of scandals. The field is diverse, to say the least, as people of all racial backgrounds are vying for the job.

The early favorite, both according to British bookmakers and in the sense that he has publicly stated his desire to hold the position, is former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, whose resignation last week proved one of the finishing blows to the beleaguered Johnson.

To call Sunak’s platform vague would be generous. He seems to be taking the Barack Obama “hope and change” approach to his mission, promising a series of broad, unassailable goals.

“I’m standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister,” Sunak tweeted along with a video hyping his candidacy. “Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country. #Ready4Rishi”

Trust in upper leadership has grown into a major issue for the ruling party, which in 2020 frequently hosted large-scale parties while simultaneously forcing the rest of its nation to lock down for COVID. Sunak has already admitted to having attended at least one party in 2020.

Sunak, who is Hindu, would be the first non-white person to serve as prime minister. The same would be true of former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, a Muslim man of Pakistani heritage, as well as Home Secretary Priti Patel, Attorney General Suella Braverman, Member of Parliament Kemi Badenach, and current Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi.

Like Sunak, Javid resigned from his post last week. Patel, whose anti-migration stances played well with the working class early in the Johnson government, has not resigned citing her desire to shepherd the nation through a challenging time.

Badenach is another name to watch, although perhaps more as a precursor to future elections. While tracking much lower than Sunak in early odds, she’s garnered the support of key Conservatives and has a message of strong-but-limited government, anti-wokeness, and commitment to sovereignty from the European Union that is likely to resonate with a British working class that voted for Brexit.

In the announcement of her candidacy, Badenoch quoted American conservative scholar Thomas Sowell and pledged to take a center-right, pro-West approach to government.

“Without change the Conservative Party, Britain, and the western world will continue to drift,” Badenoch wrote. “Aggressive and assertive rivals will outpace us economically and [outmaneuver] us internationally.”

Braverman, too, has staked her race on appealing to the farther right of her party.

Another top name in the field is Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who, if selected, would become the third female prime minister in Britain’s history, following Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May, both Conservatives.

Similarly, Patel, Badenoch, Braverman, and Minister of State Penny Mordaunt stand to add a new name to the list of Conservative women to have become prime ministers. The progressive Labour Party has never shepherded a female candidate to the top office.

Rounding out the names of potential prime ministerial replacements are MP Jeremy Hunt, Transport Secretary Grant Schapps, and MP Tom Tugendhat.