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New British PM to be announced on September 5, candidates who could replace Boris Johnson

Ex Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Minister Liz Truss are the main contenders in the race to replace Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Jul 12, 2022, 02:15 PM IST

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The world is looking forward to know who will become the next Prime Minister of Britain after Boris Johnson resigned on July 7 from the PM post amid an intensified political crisis. The new leader and new Prime Minister of Britain's ruling Conservative Party to replace Boris Johnson will be announced on September 5.

The body responsible for the election of the leadership of the party known as Tory gave this information on Monday. Members of the 1922 Committee of Conservative Backbench set the timetable and rules for the election. The process of nominations for the elections will officially begin and end on Tuesday.

Read | Boris Johnson resigns: Here is a list of likely candidates to replace British PM

So far 11 people have submitted their claim for the post of Prime Minister. Former British Indian-origin cabinet minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Minister Liz Truss are the main contenders in the race to replace Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party. 

Indian-origin Rishi Sunak, who has formally launched his campaign to be elected the new leader of Britain's Conservative Party and the country's next prime minister, appeared on Saturday at the forefront of the race to take over the leadership. However, many other leaders have joined the race.

Sunak, 42, is the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. Several senior Tory lawmakers have publicly supported him, including Mark Spencer, leader of the ruling party in the House of Commons, former Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden and former cabinet minister Liam Fox.

Iraqi-born Nadhim Jahavi and Transport Minister Grant Shapps, who succeeded Sunak as chancellor of Britain, also announced their candidacy on Saturday. A large section of the Conservative Party believes that Sunak is the best candidate to unify a divided ruling party and that he, as a former chancellor, is most capable of dealing with the great economic challenges facing Britain.

Who are the contenders in the race?

1. Indian-origin Rishi Sunak who resigned as Finance Minister last Tuesday was until last year the favourite to succeed Boris Johnson. He was praised for a Covid-19 economic rescue package, including a costly jobs retention programme that averted mass unemployment. But Sunak later faced criticism for not giving enough cost-of-living support to households.

Revelations about his wealthy wife's non-domiciled tax status and a fine he received, along with Boris Johnson, for breaking lockdown rules have damaged his standing. His tax-and-spend budget last year put Britain on course for its biggest tax burden since the 1950s.

2. The 46-year-old Foreign secretary, Liz Truss spent the first two years of Boris Johnson's government as the international trade secretary, championing Brexit. Last year Truss was appointed as Britain's lead negotiator with the European Union. Truss said on Monday that Boris Johnson had her 100% backing and she urged colleagues to support him. 

3. The former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, 55, finished second to Boris Johnson in the 2019 leadership contest. Hunt is expected to offer a more serious and less controversial style of leadership unlike that of Boris Johnson. Over the last two years, Hunt has used his experience as a former health secretary to chair parliament's health select committee.

4. Defence Minister Ben Wallace, 52, has risen in recent months to be the most popular member of the government with Conservative Party members because of his handling of the Ukraine crisis. Wallace is a former soldier. He began his political career as a member of Scotland's devolved assembly in May 1999, before being first elected to the Westminster parliament in 2005.

Wallace was security minister from 2016 until taking on his current role three years later. He won accolades for his department successfully evacuating British nationals and allies from Afghanistan last year, and for sending weapons to Kyiv.

5. Former Health Minister Sajid Javid was the first person to resign from the Cabinet in protest over accusations that Boris Johnson misled the public over what he knew about sexual harassment allegations against a Conservative lawmaker.

A former banker and a champion of free markets  Javid has served in a number of cabinet roles.  He resigned as Finance Minister in the Boris Johnson government in 2020. He is the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrant parents.

6. Nadhim Zahawi, the newly appointed Finance Minister impressed as vaccines minister when Britain had one of the world's fastest rollouts of Covid-19 jabs. He came as a refugee from Iraq along with his parents at an age of 11-years and sets him apart from other contenders. He co-founded polling company YouGov before entering parliament in 2010. His last job was as education secretary. 

7. The former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt was sacked by Boris Johnson when he became Prime Minister after she endorsed his rival Hunt during the last leadership contest. Mordaunt was a passionate supporter of Brexit. At present she is a junior trade minister.

8. Tom Tugendhat, the chair of Parliament's foreign affairs committee and a former soldier who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a regular critic of Boris Johnson. However, he has never served as a cabinet minister.

9. A Brexit-backing Attorney General, Goa born Suella Braverman was heavily criticised by lawyers during her tenure after the government sought to break international law over post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland. Braverman, 42, a barrister is the senior most legal official in the government.

Suella Braverman studied at Cambridge University and completed a master's degree in European and French law at Pantheon-Sorbonne University.

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