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A New Prime Minister for the United Kingdom

Photo by Edwin Chaparro on Unsplash

Last updated on September 10, 2022

On July 7, 2022, British PM Boris Johnson announced that he would formally resign. This resignation came amongst a series of scandals culminating in a no-confidence vote where 41% of lawmakers in his own party voted to get rid of him. The scandals of ‘Partygate’, the Chris Pincher affair, and the rising cost of living (plus a new tax raise) were the main events that led to the vote, even though Johnson’s administration has been continuously dogged by calamity during its 3-year tenure. Johnson’s allies chose to forsake him with a stream of over 30 resignations being ignited by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured above on the left) and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Johnson’s time had clearly come to an end.

Now the obvious question: who will succeed Johnson? Out of a sea of competitors including Minister of State for Trade Penny Mordaunt, Attorney General Suella Braverman, Former Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi, and multiple members of Parliament including Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat, two candidates have stood out from the rest. They are the ones pictured above, Rishi Sunak and Elizabeth Truss. Sunak, as mentioned, was one of the first to resign from Johnson’s administration (in addition to being a former chancellor) and soon become a popular candidate for PM. Truss, was the Secretary of State under Johnson and instead chose to remain loyal to the ex-PM during the scandals.

In the UK, the voting for who would be the next Prime Minister works as such: first off, a general election is not automatic. In this case, the party’s 357 eligible members of Parliament voted on the candidates until two remained. The last two candidates are then voted upon by all of the Conservative Party. Those final two candidates were Sunak and Truss. And in the final vote, Truss won out by a margin of about 20,000 votes (57.2% vs 42.5%). Elizabeth Truss will be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She will officially take office on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. And she inherits a party knee-deep in scandal in a nation filled with crisis. As to what kind of leader she’ll be remains to be seen, but for now, we have no choice but to sit and watch.

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