One of these politicians could be the next British Prime Minister if Boris Johnson steps down
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing increased pressure to resign due to ‘partygate’ and accusations that he intervened to help evacuate animals from Afghanistan.
Mr Johnson dismissed reports that No 10 was involved in Nowzad’s charity theft efforts as a ‘total rhubarb’.
Tom Tugendhat is said to have been favored by centrist Tory MPs to replace Mr Johnson, with the former soldier and MP for Tonbridge and Malling confirming on Saturday he would run for leader if there was a contest soon, adding that it would be a “huge privilege” if he became PM.
But who else is suggested? Here are some of the potential candidates:
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Rishi Sunak has been installed by bookmakers as an early favorite to replace Boris Johnson. He was appointed Chancellor shortly before the start of the coronavirus pandemic and created the furlough scheme and other financial support systems during the lockdown.
Last week Mr Sunak said he believed the Prime Minister’s remarks about his knowledge of the alleged Downing Street parties and added he was ‘not going to speculate’ when asked if Mr Johnson was to resign if he was found to have lied to Parliament.
Mr Sunak has been on the sidelines of the media this week, with reports suggesting he is taking an “independent” approach from the prime minister.
Liz Truss, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women and Equalities
Liz Truss drew comparisons to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in November after she was photographed sitting in an army tank during a trip to Estonia.
The former international trade secretary was promoted to the foreign office in September last year after Dominic Raab came under fire for his handling of the Afghan crisis.
During an interview on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday, Ms Truss said she was 100% behind the Prime Minister and wanted him to ‘keep doing the job’.
Jeremy Hunt, Chairman of the Health and Human Services Select Committee
Jeremy Hunt has held numerous cabinet posts, the most recent being Foreign Secretary in Theresa May’s government until May 2019.
He launched a leadership bid in 2019 after Ms May left, but came second to Mr Johnson.
In an interview last week with The House magazine, the former health secretary reportedly denied having actively considered a race, before adding: “I won’t say my ambition has completely evaporated, but it would take some much to persuade me to put my hat in the ring.”
Penny Mordaunt, Trade Minister
Penny Mordaunt could be a potential successor to Mr Johnson despite recent legal threats against her and the government by Tory donor Alexander Temerko.
Mr Temerko said he would personally take unspecified legal action against Ms Mordaunt, describing her as the ‘biggest security threat’ after successfully campaigning against a 1.2 billion cross-Channel power cable project of pounds sterling. Aquind, a company of which he is a director, proposed. Her response was, “I’m happy to be judged on my case.”
Ms Mordaunt has held a number of Cabinet posts, including that of Defense Secretary, and would be “highly valued” among the so-called Red Wall MPs elected in the 2019 general election.
Sajid Javid, Health Secretary
Sajid Javid is also a seasoned cabinet minister, having served in the governments of David Cameron and Theresa May.
He laid out his political aspirations in 2016 and 2019 by launching leadership bids. In 2016, he ran a joint campaign with Stephen Crabb, but the couple later pulled out. In 2019, he came fourth behind Mr Johnson, Mr Hunt and Michael Gove.
Since his appointment as Health Secretary in June last year, Mr Javid has backed Mr Johnson, but admitted on Sky News that top Tory David Davis calling on the Prime Minister to quit was ‘damaging’ for the government.
Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary
Nadhim Zahawi has been a familiar face during the pandemic after being appointed Minister of Vaccines in November 2020.
His success in the role – which saw him provide updates to Parliament on the rollout of the vaccine and host press conferences in Downing Street – led to a promotion to education secretary during the cabinet reshuffle. last September.
He backed the Prime Minister in interviews and said in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today program that he thought Mr Johnson was safe in his role ‘because he is human and that we make mistakes.”
Michael Gove, Secretary for Upgrading
Like Mr Javid, Michael Gove has held a series of cabinet posts and launched a leadership bid in 2019 after Theresa May resigned. He finished third.
In 2016 he announced he would back Mr Johnson as the new Tory leader and Prime Minister after Mr Cameron resigned, only to announce he was standing two hours before Mr Johnson made his speech official at management, undermining his friend’s chances.
Mr Gove denied that Mr Johnson should tender his resignation over the Downing Street party saga and claimed there was ‘no evidence of a funding leveling abuse’ after Christian Wakeford, an MP who defected to Labor, claimed he had been warned funding could be cut. for a new school in his constituency if he revolted during a vote on free school meals.
Mr Gove also told MPs on Monday that he was ‘solid, 100 per cent, totally behind the Prime Minister’.
Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Tom Tugendhat has criticized the government, most recently over its handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
The former soldier, who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, has already been tipped as a potential option to take over as party leader, with reports from a senior Tory MP describing him as a ” relief” if he took over.
On Saturday he was asked if he would still like to be prime minister, after expressing an interest in the past, and said: ‘It would be a huge privilege.