In Britain, a “bloodbath” for power unfolds after Boris Johnson

“Helldogs Unleashed”: who will replace the resigned conservative leader

After the resignation of Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party, which he led, began a race for the right to replace the ousted prime minister as party leader , and hence the head of the British government.

Photo: Global Look Press

British Conservatives agree that in many ways the power struggle within the party is taking place at some of the worst of times, with the cost-of-living crisis and conflict in Ukraine raging. And, as The Guardian points out, these are just two of the problems facing the UK government.

But it is clear to all that the situation has gone too far. The coup against Johnson had an unstoppable momentum. What Conservative MPs were most worried about was not Johnson's fate, but what would follow. “I think the party will fight for survival,” one of the former ministers said on Wednesday afternoon.

The same MP said that Johnson's campaign support in the 2019 general election was so broad – mainly due to the slogan “get Brexit done” – that success has bred complacency.

The Tory Party has never given much thought to how it succeed in penetrating new areas less traditional for conservatives, as she can manage a broad coalition of voters.

Conservatives realized that getting rid of Boris Johnson was only the beginning. The leadership struggle will expose many of the flaws, unanswered questions of the Johnson era, and expose the personal ambitions of those who have long wanted to replace him in leadership positions.

The former Conservative minister said on Friday he feared weeks of inappropriate self-promotion by candidates: “The worry is that it all boils down to a Dutch auction where people are promising lower and lower taxes, even harder Brexit lines in the Northern Ireland protocol. and against both. All this can be quite devastating.”

Shortly after Boris Johnson announced his departure on Thursday, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, Johnson’s staunch supporter and potential replacement herself, warned: “Hellish the dogs are unleashed. People will shred each other to shreds in the media. It will be a bloodbath.”

Zack Goldsmith, whom Johnson elevated to Lordship, wrote on social media that his environmental agenda is in danger of being forgotten: “Most of the likely contenders are people who generally don't care about climate and nature.”

By the end of the week, the list of Tories who made clear their intention to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party included: former chancellor Rishi Sunak, whose resignation on Tuesday sparked dozens more resignations from government; Nadhim Zahavi, who succeeded him as chancellor; Foreign Minister Liz Truss; Transport Minister Grant Shapps; Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs; Attorney General Swella Braverman; and Kemi Badenoch, who until her resignation last week was Minister for Enhancement and Equality.

They were joined by Sajid Javid, who was the first to leave office as Minister of Health last week, and former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt. Commerce Secretary Penny Mordaunt is expected to announce herself as the challenger. But Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace, previously considered one of the favorites, excluded himself from the race for party leadership.

This weekend, Rishi Sunak is considered the top favorite, with at least 80 Conservative MPs signing for him. Announcing his intention to run in a social media video, Sunak said he wanted to “restore confidence, rebuild the economy and reunite the country.”

Senior officials, including former Commerce Secretary Liam Fox, have described Sunak as “an outstanding person who really has a plan to control government spending over time. What we can't do is continue to spend the money we don't have and shift the burden onto future taxpayers.”

But as soon as the ex-chancellor announced his intention to run, his detractors drew their knives, writes The Guardian.

Loyal to Johnson to the last, Junior Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “We had a high-tax chancellor and I belong to a low-tax party and I want us to be a low-tax party again. taxes.” Earlier this week, Rees-Mogg said Sunak was a “failed Chancellor” (remember, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is essentially the head of the Treasury).

In Downing Street, where Johnson will remain duties until the beginning of September, undisguised contempt for Sunak reigns. One government insider said it was clear that Johnson and his men would not leave quietly, and that their next task would be to stop Sunak at all costs.

Johnson's closest aides, including David Canzini, urged the prime minister not to leave until late Wednesday evening. “His message was: “Lock the doors. Don't quit, fight it,” the insider said. Even when Johnson did leave, no one spoke of supporting his successor, whoever he was: “It was all about his credentials. He had this mandate. There was a sense of betrayal and herd accusation.”

Rumors emerged on Saturday that Michael Gove, whom Johnson fired on Wednesday after alleging more betrayal by a former promotion secretary, had agreed to support Rishi Sunak. This was denied by the Gove camp. However, if Gove did this in the coming days and weeks, the anger of the embittered Johnson supporters on Sunak's team would double.

Former Tory vice-chairman Sir Charles Walker said an ugly power struggle was inevitable: “The Rishis and his camp will have to absorb a lot of anger in the coming days and weeks. Will this prevent him from becoming a leader? Probably no. Will this prevent him from being prime minister? Definitely. However, whoever replaces Boris will suffer the same condemnation to a greater or lesser extent. They will incur the wrath of the disillusioned.”

With all this in mind, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative “committee of 1922”, has been struggling in recent days to reduce the “succession” contest so that choose a new Tory leader and Prime Minister of Great Britain as soon as possible.

The 1922 Executive Committee will meet on Monday and decide how to reduce the number of candidates to two in the MPs' vote series by the time Parliament is adjourned for next week.

Later on Monday, Brady will meet with the party's board to approve a schedule of nationwide events for late July and August, after which nearly 200,000 party members will vote. The new Tory leader and prime minister is expected to be announced on 5 September.


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