Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, resigned as the leader of the conservative party and also as Prime Minister (PM) on July 7th, 2022. Until a new prime minister is elected, Boris would remain as PM. The new Prime Minister will be announced on September 5th and will assume office the following day, September 6th, 2022.
The Election Process
A Member of Parliament of the Conservative Party should be nominated by a minimum of 20 fellow MPs to come into the race for the PM’s election. After this, a two-step process of selection is followed. In the first stage, through a series of secret ballots, MPs vote for their desired candidates. The candidates gaining the lowest number of votes are eliminated after each round until two candidates are left for the final race. In the second stage, the two candidates get the vote from the card-carrying grassroots party members.
Top UK Election Candidates in 2022
At the beginning of the election process, there were eight candidates, including former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Junior Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Attorney General Suella Braverman, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat, and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi. After five rounds of voting were done, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss remained the two final contenders.
Rishi Sunak and his Promises
Rishi Sunak, of Indian origin, aged 42, has been a strong competitor in this battle of leadership. Previously, Rishi served as the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the period 2020 to 2022. If he wins, Rishi would be the first person of color to be prime minister of the UK. The Tory leader flares up with convincing policies including creating an opportunity for good and secure work; protecting, supporting, and creating jobs; and a new policy to reward and incentivize employees who could bring back furloughed staff and a new job retention bonus. Furthermore, there are plans to restart the domains of hospitality and tourism to help protect jobs. The controversial Rwanda Plan of deportation is being supported by Mr. Sunak.
Liz Truss and her Commitments
Liz Truss, a 46-year-old member of parliament since 2010, is another finalist in the Prime Minister’s election with roots in South West Norfolk. She is serving as the Foreign Secretary and Minister of Women and Equalities. She has served in various cabinet positions under various PMs of the UK, including David Cameron, Theresa May, and Boris Johnson. Ms. Truss has been optimistic regarding the pledge to “start cutting taxes from day one.” It includes eliminating the hike in national insurance and the planned corporation tax rise next year. The Rwanda plan is backed by Ms. Truss and is keen on introducing similar schemes to other countries. She also promises to increase the Border Force capacity by 20 percent and strengthen the UK’s bill of rights for illegal immigrants.
In the case of Brexit, Rishi Sunak voted to leave the EU and always voted for pro-Brexit policies in parliament. He said that, outside the purview of the EU, the UK will be a freer, fairer, and more prosperous nation. Liz Truss also vows to scrap the laws of the EU by the end of the year 2023, which would risk the ‘bonfire of rights.’