UK: Sajid Javid joins eight others in race to be next PM

Foreign secretary Liz Truss expected to announce candidature soon



By Prasun Sonwalkar

Published: Sun 10 Jul 2022, 6:36 PM

Sajid Javid, who was the first cabinet minister to resign over questions of integrity and honesty of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, launched his bid on Sunday to be the next prime minister, joining eight others in the race, including former chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss is expected to announce her candidature later on Sunday or Monday. The nine candidates as of Sunday evening were: Javid, Sunak, Suella Braverman, Grant Shapps, Tom Tugendhat, Nadhim Zahawi, Penny Mordaunt, Jeremy Hunt and Kemi Badenoch.

Five of the nine candidates belong to minority communities, which has been welcomed by diversity campaigners. The United Kingdom could have the first prime minister from a minority community, political commentators noted, recalling that the Conservative party had the first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Setting out their stalls during interviews on Sunday television and on social media, most of the candidates promised to lower taxes at a time when the cost of living has become one of the most important issues in public discourse.

There was much talk in Westminster that Johnson, allegedly incensed at the way he was forced to step down after winning the large majority in the 2019 election, would make it difficult for his colleagues, particularly Sunak, who was accused by the former’s allies of disloyalty and worse.

Charles Walker, the former vice-chairman of the influential 1922 Committee that will organise the leadership election next week onwards, told the Observer that pleas for restraint were pointless because there was so much bad blood.

He said: “People like me can say until we are blue in the face that the Conservative party should not tear itself apart, but our pleas will fall on deaf ears. Clearly, the prime minister remains deeply bruised by the chancellor’s resignation. Rishi’s camp will have to soak up a lot of anger over the days to come. That will apply to whoever takes over.”

ALSO READ:

Javid reminded viewers that he is the most experienced of all candidates, having served the longest in government and in several departments. He said he would set out a detailed plan to encourage growth while also lowering taxes.

The 1922 Committee is due to meet on Monday and announce the timetable for the leadership election. There is growing demand within the party that the process should be expedited instead of the normal two or three months.


More news from World