Race to replace UK PM Johnson picks up momentum with Rishi Sunak announcing leadership bid

Race to replace UK PM Johnson picks up momentum with Rishi Sunak announcing leadership bid

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London,
July
8:

The
race
to
elect
a
new
Conservative
Party
leader
to
succeed
Boris
Johnson
as
British
Prime
Minister
gathered
momentum
on
Friday,
with
British
Indian
former
finance
minister
Rishi
Sunak
formally
launching
his
leadership
bid.

Race to replace UK PM Johnson picks up momentum with Rishi Sunak announcing leadership bid
Rishi
Sunak
(Photo
Credit:
PTI)

Sunak
joins
fellow
Indian-origin
candidate
Suella
Braverman,
the
UK
Attorney
General
who
is
among
the
early
Tory
MPs
to
announce
her
plan
to
contest.
“I’m
standing
to
be
the
next
leader
of
the
Conservative
Party
and
your
Prime
Minister.
Let’s
restore
trust,
rebuild
the
economy
and
reunite
the
country,”
said
Sunak
as
he
launched
the
#Ready4Rishi
campaign
bid
on
Twitter.

The
former
UK
Chancellor
who
stepped
down
earlier
this
week
triggering
a
deluge
of
government
exits,
is
seen
as
a
credible
contender
and
a
frontrunner
in
some
party
quarters.
The
42-year-old
MP
and
son-in-law
of
Infosys
co-founder
Narayana
Murthy
was
believed
to
be
next
in
line
to
Johnson
to
take
over
at
10
Downing
Street
as
he
proved
his
mettle
in
the
early
months
of
the
pandemic
with
a
series
of
mini-budgets.

However,
his
popularity
took
some
beating
in
recent
months
as
the
cost-of-living
crisis
escalated
and
he
was
forced
to
take
some
tough
tax
hike
calls.
“We
need
to
make
sure
that’s
not
the
end
of
the
British
Indian
story.
There’s
lots
more
we
can
achieve.
There’s
lots
more
we
can
do.
And
I’m
really
excited
about
the
future,”
he
told
reporters
last
week
when
asked
if
he
could
go
on
to
be
the
first
British
Indian
Prime
Minister
of
the
UK.

Earlier,
Tom
Tugendhat,
Chair
of
the
powerful
House
of
Commons
Foreign
Affairs
Committee,
declared
his
intention
to
contest
soon
after
UK
Transport
Secretary
Grant
Shapps
indicated
he
will
also
be
vying
for
the
top
job.
There
are
now
five
confirmed
contenders,
including
Tory
backbench
MP
Steve
Baker,
since
Johnson
announced
his
resignation
as
Tory
leader
on
Thursday.

The
58-year-old
member
of
Parliament
for
Uxbridge
and
South
Ruislip
in
London
plans
to
stay
in
charge
as
caretaker
Prime
Minister
until
the
process
of
electing
his
successor
is
completed.
“In
politics,
no
one
is
remotely
indispensable
and
our
brilliant
and
Darwinian
system
will
produce
another
leader
equally
committed
to
taking
this
country
forward
through
tough
times,”
Johnson
said
in
his
resignation
speech
on
the
steps
of
Downing
Street.

A
timetable
for
the
Tory
leadership
race
is
due
to
be
confirmed
next
week
by
the
party’s
1922
Committee
and
the
new
Prime
Minister
is
expected
to
be
in
place
at
10
Downing
Street
by
September.
“I
am
putting
together
a
broad
coalition
of
colleagues
that
will
bring
new
energy
and
ideas
to
government
and,
finally,
to
bridge
the
Brexit
divide
that
has
dominated
our
recent
history,”
Tugendhat,
a
former
soldier,
writes
in
‘The
Daily
Telegraph’
about
his
leadership
bid.

“I
have
served
before

in
the
military,
and
now
in
Parliament.
Now
I
hope
to
answer
the
call
once
again
as
prime
minister.
It’s
time
for
a
clean
start.
It’s
time
for
renewal,”
said
the
MP
for
Tonbridge
and
Malling
in
south-east
England.
The
49-year-old
is
considered
a
strong
contender
for
the
post
of
PM
as
a
member
of
the
One
Nation
Group
of
Conservatives,
with
the
backing
of
a
considerable
group
of
his
party
colleagues.
Grant
Shapps,
meanwhile,
has
been
described
as
a
“great
choice”
for
leader
by
Robert
Courts,
a
minister
in
his
department,
who
said
the
party
needed
someone
“who
has
experience”
and
is
“able
to
campaign”,
a
reference
to
Shapps’
former
role
as
Tory
party
chairman.

It
comes
as
Goan-origin
Suella
Braverman
emerged
as
one
of
the
first
candidates
as
she
declared
that
her
work
as
Attorney
General
prepared
her
for
the
challenges
of
the
highest
political
office.
“I
want
to
embed
the
opportunities
of
Brexit
and
tidy
up
the
outstanding
issues,”
she
said.
Sunak’s
successor
in
the
UK
Treasury,
new
Chancellor
Nadhim
Zahawi,
is
also
seen
as
a
strong
contender,
as
is
Pakistani-origin
former
Cabinet
minister
Sajid
Javid.

Former
Foreign
Secretary
Jeremy
Hunt,
who
came
second
in
the
2019
Conservative
leadership
contest,
Defence
Secretary
Ben
Wallace
and
Foreign
Secretary
Liz
Truss
are
others
seen
as
equally
robust
candidates
if
and
when
they
decide
to
contest.
UK
Home
Secretary
Priti
Patel,
who
is
also
among
the
senior
Tory
names
doing
the
rounds,
has
not
indicated
her
plans
for
a
bid
so
far.

In
a
Twitter
statement
on
Friday,
the
50-year-old
Gujarati-origin
minister
said:
“The
position
of
the
Home
Secretary
demands
the
holder
of
the
office
to
be
entirely
focused
on
the
business
of
the
government
and
our
national
security.
“At
this
critical
time,
my
duty
is
to
continue
to
lead
this
Great
Office
of
State,
to
protect
our
national
security,
and
keep
the
citizens
of
our
country
safe.
I
will
continue
to
work
closely
with
colleagues
across
government
and
our
partners
and
agencies
to
ensure
these
important
responsibilities
are
upheld,”
she
said.

A
few
others
who
were
expected
to
run,
including
Deputy
Prime
Minister
Dominic
Raab
and
sacked
Cabinet
minister
Michael
Gove,
have
reportedly
ruled
out
a
leadership
bid.
The
Conservative
Party’s
1922
Committee
of
backbench
is
responsible
for
setting
the
timetable
for
a
Tory
leadership
contest
and
to
take
part
in
the
Tory
elections,
an
MP
has
to
be
nominated
by
at
least
eight
colleagues.
If
more
than
two
MPs
put
themselves
forward
and
secure
enough
nominations
to
run
for
leader,
a
series
of
secret
ballots
are
held
to
whittle
them
down
to
a
final
two,
who
then
go
head-to-head
in
a
final
round
of
votes
to
elect
a
new
leader.

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