Boris Johnson and his former finance minister Rishi Sunak They lead the list of possible candidates to replace British Prime Minister Liz Truss, while seeking support to become the new leader of the Conservative Party in a fast-track process.
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Truss, chosen by party members to succeed Johnson after his removal from office by his fellow Conservatives in July, he resigned on Thursday after six turbulent weeks in power.
Candidates to replace her must get 100 votes from Conservative lawmakers by Monday to run in a race in which the party hopes to restore its battered fortunes.
Polls suggest the Conservatives would be all but wiped out if national elections were held now, leaving the race on to become Britain’s fifth prime minister in six years. Elections are not scheduled for another two years.
The winner will be announced on Monday or Friday of next week.
In what would be an extraordinary comeback, Johnson, who remains popular with members of his party, has been featured alongside Altar as a likely candidate.
“He can turn the situation around again. And I’m sure my colleagues hear that message loud and clear,” Conservative MP Paul Bristow said on LBC radio.
“Boris Johnson can win the next general election.”
Nevertheless, Johnsonwho left office comparing himself to a Roman dictator brought to power twice to fight crises, may fall short of the 100-vote threshold after his three years in office were marred by scandals and accusations of misconduct. conduct.
One of his former advisers, who is no longer spoken with Johnson and asked to remain anonymous, said he is unlikely to hit the target as he had drifted away from dozens of conservatives.
Will Walden, who also worked for Johnson, said the former leader is returning from vacation and doing polls.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has ruled himself out, saying he leans toward backing Johnsonwhich led the party to a large majority in the 2019 national elections.
Altarthe former Goldman Sachs analyst who became finance minister just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe, is the bookmaker’s favourite, followed by Johnson.
Ranked third is Penny Mordaunt, a former Defense Minister who was very popular with party members and came in third place last time. None have formally declared her candidacy.
A Reuters tally of Conservative lawmakers who have made public statements of support puts Altar with 54 supports, Johnson with 29 and Mordaunt with 16.
With information from Reuters