Factbox-Now British Boris Johnson has resigned, who could replace him? | world news
By Andrew MacAskill and Kylie MacLellan
LONDON (Reuters) – Who could replace Boris Johnson as Britain’s prime minister? Below is a summary of those who have announced they want the job and others who may be in the frame. The race follows Johnson’s announcement on Thursday that he was stepping down, bowing to pleas from cabinet colleagues and lawmakers from his Conservative party.
There is no clear favorite and they are not listed in order of likely prospects. The leadership contest rules will be announced next week.
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Sunak announced his candidacy for the leadership on Friday with a campaign video in which he promised to face the difficult economic environment with “honesty, seriousness and determination”, rather than placing the burden on future generations.
“Somebody has to seize this moment and make the right decisions,” he said.
Sunak was named finance minister in early 2020 and has been praised for a COVID-19 economic rescue package, including an expensive job retention program that averted mass unemployment.
But it was later criticized for not supporting household costs of living enough. Revelations this year about his wealthy wife’s non-domiciled tax status and a fine he received for breaking COVID lockdown rules have hurt his position.
His tax and spending budget last year put Britain on track for its biggest tax burden since the 1950s, undermining its claims to favor lower taxes.
Sunak voted to leave the EU in 2016.
The chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee and a former soldier who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He has been a regular critic of Johnson and would offer his party a clean break from previous governments.
However, he is relatively inexperienced as he has never served in Cabinet.
He voted to stay in the EU.
As attorney general, Braverman faced heavy criticism from lawyers after the government sought to break international law over post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland.
She campaigned to leave the EU and served as deputy minister in the Brexit department under Theresa May, but resigned in protest at the then Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit deal, saying it would not did not go far enough in severing ties with the bloc.
First elected to parliament in 2017, Badenoch has held junior ministerial posts, most recently as minister for equalities, but has never served in cabinet.
A former Conservative member of the London Assembly, she was also Vice-President of the Conservative Party. She supported Brexit in 2016.
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The Foreign Secretary has been the darling of the Conservative Party’s rank and file and has consistently topped polls of party members by the Conservative Home website.
Truss has a carefully cultivated public image and was photographed in a tank last year, echoing a famous 1986 photo of Britain’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.
Truss, 46, initially campaigned against Brexit but after the 2016 referendum she said she had changed her mind.
She spent the first two years of Johnson’s premiership as international trade secretary and last year was named Britain’s chief negotiator with the European Union.
Truss is now tasked with dealing with the EU on post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, where she has taken an increasingly tough line of negotiation.
On Tuesday, she said Johnson had her “100% backing” and urged her colleagues to back him up. On Thursday, after the prime minister bowed to mounting pressure, she said Johnson had made the right decision to quit.
The 55-year-old former foreign secretary finished second to Johnson in the 2019 leadership race. He would offer a more serious and less controversial style of leadership after Johnson’s turmoil as premier.
For the past two years, Hunt has used his experience as a former health secretary to chair Parliament’s Select Health Committee and has not been tarnished having served in the current government.
Earlier this year he said his ambition to become prime minister “has not completely disappeared”. Hunt said he voted to oust Johnson in a confidence vote last month that the prime minister narrowly won.
Hunt backed staying in the EU ahead of the 2016 vote. It’s unclear whether he would feel the need to maintain a hard line against Brussels, to win the support of Tory voters, or whether he might pursue a more pragmatic to improve post-Brexit trade.
Javid was the first cabinet minister to resign in protest over accusations that Johnson misled the public about what he knew about sexual harassment allegations against a Tory lawmaker.
A former banker and champion of free markets, Javid has held several cabinet positions, most recently as health minister. He resigned as Johnson’s finance minister in 2020.
The son of Pakistani Muslim immigrant parents, he is a fan of Thatcher and finished fourth in the 2019 leadership race to replace former Prime Minister Theresa May.
Javid backed staying in the EU “with a heavy heart and unenthusiastic”, saying he feared the fallout from a Leave vote would add to the economic turmoil.
The newly appointed finance minister impressed as vaccines minister when Britain had one of the world’s fastest COVID vaccine rollouts.
Zahawi’s personal story as a former refugee from Iraq who came to Britain as a child sets him apart from other suitors.
He co-founded polling firm YouGov before entering parliament in 2010. His last job was as education secretary. Zahawi said last week it would be a “privilege” to be prime minister at some point.
He supported leaving the EU.
The former defense secretary was sacked by Johnson when he became prime minister after endorsing rival Hunt in the last leadership race.
Mordaunt was an avid supporter of leaving the European Union and made national headlines by appearing on a now-defunct reality TV show.
Currently deputy trade minister, Mordaunt called parties breaking the COVID lockdown in government “shameful”. She had previously expressed her loyalty to Johnson.
Mordaunt campaigned to leave the EU in 2016.
(Editing by Michael Holden, Jon Boyle, Catherine Evans, Mark Heinrich, Andrew Heavens and Frances Kerry)
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