A leadership competition have kicked off in the U.K. after the resignation of beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May and it seems like former Foreign Secretary and London Mayor Boris Johnson– a politician known for getting a sharp wit as much as for his gaffes– might be the next leader of the nation.
Monday was the dead-line for nominations of those standing in the ruling Conservative Party’s leadership race and even though there are 10 candidates on the final list, some names are more well-known than others such as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt (the current foreign minister), Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Michael Gove, the environment minister.
To have the ability to run as a candidate, Tory members of parliament (MPs) would need the backing of eight colleagues. Now the final list of 10 candidates are known, a series of votes will require place to whittle the number down to two candidates who will face the wider Tory party membership who then pick their favored candidate and decide on the party’s– and country’s– next leader. The final winner will likely be announced on July 22.
One frontrunner, Michael Gove, have seen his leadership bid hit by revelations about past cocaine use, towards increased scrutiny on all the candidates , with some acknowledging to recreational drug use during their university years. Boris Johnson, in the meantime, have attracted some criticism for his promise of an income tax cut for individuals who earn over £50,000 a year (around $63,000).
British Prime Minister Theresa May stand down as the leader of the Conservative Party last Friday but will act as an interim prime minister until a leadership contest is complete. Conservative MPs may have their first vote on Thursday this week and that will discover the least popular candidate eradicated from the leadership race (if they get lower than a certain amount of votes).
The race to succeed her has put Brexit, by this time something of a torturous parliamentary wrangle over the departure from European Union, both at the forefront of the political debate and on the backburner, because coping with Brexit had been postponed by the leadership contest.
Most leadership candidates had been keen to promote their pro-Brexit credentials as the wider Conservative Party and pro-Brexit members of the public call on the government to progress on leaving the EU by the new deadline of October 31.
Boris Johnson, who is widely anticipated to become Tory party leader in accordance with polls, has stated that he would try to renegotiate the Brexit deal that May hammered out with Brussels, claiming that he will probably withhold paying a £39 billion divorce bill which was previously agreed would be paid when the U.K. leaves the bloc.
After three years of Brexit negotiations since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the potential thought of talks being re-opened under Boris Johnson will send a long sigh of exasperation through the political establishment in Brussels.
Officials there have said the deal on offer will not change making the possibility of a “no deal” departure from the union a lot more like come October, even though the majority of lawmakers in the British Parliament have got voted against such a scenario. Philip Hammond, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, told CNBC on Saturday that the possibility of a no deal departure is “very small.”