- After the fall of Boris Johnson, the hunt for the next leader of this country is underway.
- We will have to wait until the 5th of September to find out who will stand on the steps of number 10 Downing Street.
- In this article, we outline the eight people who may replace Johnson.
The former Chancellor is the bookies’ favourite to be the next leader of the Conservative party. Despite setbacks, including his wife’s tax affairs and arguably his poor management of the cost of living crisis, he is backed by many in the party. Supporters of Sunak include Grant Shapps, Dominic Raab and Theresa May. It seems he is focused on being the realist out of all the candidates by focusing on fiscal prudence than immediate tax cuts. However, he was a very close ally of Johnson, which could downplay his chances of being the next leader.
She is a relatively quiet candidate and is more known for participating in an ITV television show, Splash, than for her political prowess. However, after taking the Minister of International Trade role, she is seen as one of the frontrunners in this leadership contest. She has the support of former Commons leader Dame Andrea and Michael Fabricant. Out of all the candidates, she has expressed support for trans rights, which has preoccupied her. Yet, she said: “in the next few days, we’ll be able to discuss how we get our economy growing again and enable our citizens to live well.”
Like Sunak, the Foreign Secretary has been one of the leading successors for the outgoing Johnson. Being the longest-serving cabinet member out of everyone running could swing this race in her favour. She is also supported by prominent Conservative supporters, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries. It is argued that she is seen as a reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher with her low tax principles. She has labelled young people as a generation of “Uber-riding, Airbnb-ing, Deliveroo-eating freedom fighters.”
Know as the person who just lost out against Johnson in the last leadership race, Hunt hopes to do one better and become the leader of the party. He is seen as an outsider from the “Boris bubble” that has marinated many of the candidates in this race. Andrew Mitchell, Crispin Blunt and Esther McVey all back the former Health and Foreign Secretary. Hunt promises the lowest rate of business taxes in the western world, including pledging to cut business rates for five years “for the most in-need communities.” He is also relatively quiet regarding the culture war that has taken a lot of interest from some of the candidates.
According to Steve Baker, who wrote for the Daily Telegraph about her role in Brexit, the Brexiteer Attorney General is seen to be one of the people helping to make Brexit happen. She is a loyal supporter of Johnson, similar to the other candidates running for the leadership role. Braverman has the support of Baker and Sir Desmond Swayne. Like Johnson, Braverman has already shaken the hands of controversy by saying that she will tackle “stubborn” working-age people who “refuse” to get jobs. She is taking the position of a low-tax state, believing that “if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.”
MP for Essex and former Levelling up and Equalities Minister Badenoch is portrayed as a lieutenant in the cultural war. Defender of the controversial Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (Cred) report, she hasn’t risen further into the spotlight, which could change depending on how she does in this race. With support from Michael Gove, Lee Anderson and Ben Bradley, she could be a dark horse in this leadership battle. She has promised low taxes to help boost growth and productivity and has compared “identity politics” to coercive control.
Former Vaccine Minister and now Chancellor has thrown his hat in the ring of leadership. He has support from Brandon Lewis, the ex-Northern Ireland Secretary and Michelle Donelan. Zahawi is coming across as the one to “steady the ship and to stabilise the economy” and wanting to take the opportunities that Brexit has provided. Less than 48 hours after becoming chancellor by Johnson, he published a letter calling for Johnson to resign, which didn’t go down well. One backbench stated: “He’s made himself look like a knob.” Will this haunt him is something that we will find out before or after September.
Tugendhat is popular among the candidates for party leader. He is best known for his speech that condemned the fall of Kabul to the Taliban last summer and has tried his best to separate himself from Johnson. International Trade Secretary Anne Marie Trevelyan backs him, and the former soldier is seen to be more on the party’s left side. He has reiterated the need for a “clean start for the country,” focusing on the cost of living crisis and supporting a drop in fuel tax. Like the other candidates, Tugendhat has taken a dig at the cultural war and is critical of so-called “victim culture.”