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New UK Prime Minister To Be Announced on 5 September, 11 Hopefuls Contesting

The 1922 Committee of non-ministerial Conservative MPs in Parliament outlined a timetable for the leadership poll.

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The new United Kingdom prime minister to replace the outgoing PM Boris Johnson will be announced on 5 September, the Conservative Party said on Monday, 11 July, AFP reported. 11 party hopefuls are currently vying for the top post.

The leadership contest was set in motion last week when incumbent PM Johnson was forced to step down after a series of resignations from his government, predominantly citing his scandal-prone term.

The 1922 Committee of non-ministerial Conservative MPs in Parliament outlined a timetable for the run-up to the party’s leadership poll on Monday.

Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, told reporters that while nominations will officially open and close on Tuesday, the new prime minister is set to be chosen after the Parliament’s return from summer break on 5 September, AFP further reported.

Brady added that the first ballot will be held on Wednesday while the second is likely to take place on Thursday.

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The Selection Process

Tory MPs will reduce the current list down to a final two through a series of ballot-based eliminations, where the worst-performing candidate is eliminated after each round before party members choose a winner.

Bob Blackman, joint executive secretary of the 1922 Committee, was quoted by AFP as saying that they were committed to reducing the list of 11 down to a final two before the Parliament breaks for the summer on 21 July.

Moreover, in an attempt to speed up the process, candidates must have at least 20 MPs backing them in order to enter the race, more than the usual eight. Further, any candidate who fails to garner the support of 30 MPs in the first ballot will be eliminated.

Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, whose departures as finance minister and health minister, respectively, led to a series of resignations, have thrown their hat into the ring for the post. Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Sunak’s successor, Nadhim Zahawi, also declared their candidature to become the next party leader. AFP reported that Home Secretary Priti Patel may also be mulling a bid.

Who Is Expected To Participate?

Some of the names that are expected to come forward are:

  • Rishi Sunak, former chancellor of the Exchequer

  • Sajid Javid, former health secretary

  • Liz Truss, foreign secretary

  • Penny Mordaunt, minister of state for Trade Policy

  • Nadhim Zahawi, chancellor of the Exchequer

  • Jeremy Hunt, chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee

  • Ben Wallace, secretary of state for Defence

  • Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee

  • Suella Braverman, attorney general for England and Wales

Boris Johnson's Resignation

During a national address on Thursday, 7 July, Johnson said, "It is clearly the will of the parliamentary party that there should be a new leader. I have today appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place."

"The timetable for electing the new leader of the Conservative Party – and therefore the new PM – will be announced next week," he added.

Here are some key highlights from his speech:

  • Johnson said that he failed to persuade his colleagues that changing the leader would be an "eccentric" decision.

  • "At Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, and when it moves, it moves."

  • "My friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable."

  • "We would like to hope that some day in Great Britain more professional people who can make decisions through dialogue will come to power. But at the moment there is little hope for that."

  • "Even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden."

(with inputs from AFP.)

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