Conservative leadership race to replace Johnson begins

London, Jul 8 (EFE).- The race to replace Boris Johnson began on Friday a day following the prime minister’s resignation as Conservative Party leader, although it is likely that a new leader will not be appointed until after the summer.

Johnson’s resignation on Thursday came after nearly 60 government ministers and MPs had resigned in recent days amid multiple scandals that engulfed his tenure.

“It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister,” Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.

“I have today appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will until a new leader is in place,” he added.

His former chancellor, Rishi Sunak, whose resignation – along with former health secretary Sajid Javid’s – on Thursday triggered the Conservative revolt against Johnson, has formally announced that he is standing to take over as party leader and prime minister.

“Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country,” he wrote on Twitter accompanying a promotional video.

Other prominent Tories to join the race to take over from Johnson are transport secretary Grant Shapps and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat, who promised to bring new energy and ideas to government if elected.

“I have served before, in the military, and now in Parliament. Now I hope to answer the call once again as prime minister,” Tugendhat said in an interview with The Telegraph.

State attorney general Suella Braverman and deputy chairman of the Covid-19 Recovery Group, Steve Baker, a fervent Brexiter, have also expressed their interest to run for prime minister.

Former foreign and health secretary Jeremy Hunt is also likely to join the race in the coming days as well as foreign minister Liz Truss, former health minister Sajid Javid, defense minister Ben Wallace and Nadhim Zahawi, who replaced Sunak as chancellor.

Meanwhile, opposition Labour party leader Keir Starmer on Friday was cleared by police over allegations that he had broken Covid-19 lockdown rules, mounting pressure on the Conservative Party to oust Johnson immediately.

Starmer, who said he would resign if found guilty, has threatened to call a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons next week if Johnson does not step down immediately. EFE


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