Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed this Sunday his candidacy for the Conservative Party primaries to replace Liz Truss at the head of the formation in power and of the Government of the United Kingdom.
The party has started an internal process to choose its new leader after Truss announced his resignation on Thursday as a result of the turmoil that his economic program, with tax cuts that he was later forced to reverse, caused in the markets.
Sunak announced his candidacy on his Twitter account, in which he stated that the UK is facing a “deep economic crisis” and that his goal is to overcome this situation and unite the party.
“The choice our party makes now will decide whether the next generation of Britons will have more opportunities than the last. That is why I am running to be your next Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party,” Sunak said.
The politician stressed that he was in charge of the Economy in the “hardest” moments for the country, in reference to the pandemic, and indicated that “the challenges we face are even greater. But the opportunities, if we make the right decision, are phenomenal.”
It may interest you: Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak held a private meeting in the middle of the race to replace Liz Truss
The former Economy Minister of Boris Johnson assured that he has a plan to solve the great problems that the country has and promised to fulfill the electoral promises that his party made in the 2019 general elections. “There will be integrity, professionalism and accountability at each level of government that I lead and I will work all the time to get the job done,” he said.
Sunak ended his statement asking to be given the opportunity to solve the problems and lead his party to victory in the next general election (2024). According to sources from his campaign, Sunak already has the support he needs (100 or more) to access these primaries of the formation.
Tory politicians who want to present themselves have until 2:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. GMT) this Monday to do so.
In addition to Sunak, the leader of the Conservative parliamentary group in the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunthas confirmed his candidacy, although he only has, for the moment, the support of 23 deputies.
Looking ahead to Monday, if there are three candidates, the “Tory” deputies will vote for one of them and the last two will be submitted to online voting by those affiliated with the party.
The mystery of Boris Johnson
The former prime minister cut short his Caribbean vacation to return to Britain on Saturday, when allies reported that he had broadcast that he was “ready” to enter the contest. However, he has not yet formally announced his candidacy for leader.
Johnson, 58, left office early last month after a revolt between his cabinet and Tory MPs, sparked by the resignation of Sunak and others after months of controversy.
Buoyed by several hints from Johnson himself, there has since been speculation that he might try to return, though few expected him to do so quickly.
The figure of Brexit, always effervescent, remains popular with a part of the Conservative MPs and the party. But his brand with the general electorate has been severely damaged by his three-year, scandal-plagued tenure.
A recent YouGov poll showed that around two-thirds of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of him.
Johnson has kept a low profile since his resignation, taking several vacations and giving a paid speech in the United States last week, which was followed by his now-shortened trip to the Caribbean.
He is believed to have favored Truss in the first Tory leadership contest, although his former top aide, Dominic Cummings, now an arch critic, argued that this was because he expected his tenure to be disastrous and short-lived, paving the way for his Return.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
Boris Johnson already has the necessary support from conservative deputies to access his party’s primaries
Johnson returned to the UK to launch his bid for prime minister
Thousands of Britons gathered in London to call for the UK to rejoin the European Union