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The race to succeed Prime Minister Johnson begins with eight candidates

The race to succeed Prime Minister Johnson begins with eight candidates
  • Field to replace Johnson while PM narrows to eight
  • Pledges to cut taxes dominate competition
  • Favorite Sunak says inflation must be curbed

LONDON (Reuters) – Eight Conservatives are in the fight to succeed Boris Johnson as party leader and British Prime Minister after winning enough nominations from their colleagues to move into the first round of voting on Wednesday.

Only two of the candidates failed to win the necessary 20 nominations, leaving a wide field of candidates seeking to win party support with promises of tax cuts, honesty and serious government, unlike Johnson who was forced to announce his resignation afterwards. A series of scandals. Read more

Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is a bookmaker’s favorite, and among those his successor Nadim Zahawi and Secretary of State Liz Truss will face in an increasingly intense and divided contest.

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Opinion polls show the next British leader faces a tough problem as support for the Conservatives wanes.

The British economy is facing hyperinflation, high debt and low growth, with people experiencing the most severe strain on their finances in decades, all against the backdrop of an energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine that has driven up fuel prices.

As the competition heated up, rival campaigns intensified private criticism of each other and pointed to financial or other questions hanging over their opponents.

Sunak began his campaign by portraying himself as the serious candidate, promising “truthfully ‘adults’ and ‘not fairy tales'”, seeking to compare himself to the broad tax cuts that most other candidates had pledged.

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“It is not credible to promise more spending and tax cuts,” Sunak said, noting that tax cuts can only be achieved after tackling rising inflation.

As chancellor of the exchequer, Sunak set Britain on course for its heaviest tax burden since the 1950s, and most other hopefuls fired their guns at him by saying they would oversee the cuts immediately.

‘looks profitable’

The former finance minister has the broadest support among his colleagues, who have publicly expressed their views.

Penny Mordaunt, the junior trade secretary on big tips, topped a poll of Conservative Party members on Monday, and she, too, tried on a thoughtful tone on taxes, saying that while she would cut taxes: “I’m going to be a leader in the good money business.”

“I am a small, low-tax country, but I also believe we need to use government tools to support jobs and livelihoods through difficult economic situations,” she wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

Attorney General Suila Braverman, former health minister Jeremy Hunt, Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kimi Badenoch, a former secretary of state who is mobilizing support from the party’s right wing, were among the other candidates to enter. The first round of the competition.

Secretary of State Truss garnered the support of two ministers close to Johnson – Nadine Doris and Jacob Rees-Mogg – who had criticized Sunak.

The 1922 Committee of Conservative Members of Parliament organizing the contest says the square will soon disappear with repeated voting in the next few weeks, with the last two members selected afterwards by fewer than 200,000 party members by July 21.

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The winner, and the new British Prime Minister, will be announced on the 5th of September. read more

Meanwhile, the opposition Labor Party said the government blocked its attempt to call a vote of confidence in Johnson on Wednesday to force him to step down immediately. Read more

The government said it would allow Labor to call a vote of confidence if the proposal’s wording was changed to remove reference to Johnson.

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Additional reporting by William James and Andrew McCaskill; Writing by Michael Holden; Editing by Angus McSwan, Allison Williams and David Evans

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.