While Boris Johnson continues as a sort of fortunate caretaker prime minister, the competition to replace him will now go before the 200,000 or so dues-paying Conservatives who will, by mail, choose Johnson’s successor.
There will be no general election to choose a new prime minister, and many “sham” events will be unofficial or out of sight for the British press.
The rivalry between Sunak and Truss allows Tory voters to choose between a man who says he is the only adult in the race and a woman who says she is the only one who has shown real leadership.
If Truss wins, it will be the third time the Conservative Party has placed a woman in the highest office, after the premierships by Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.
The two contenders are both conservatives, and to the outside world their political differences are subtle.
Truss supports a range of tax deductions.
Sunak says Britain must first get inflation under control. He has suggested that tax cuts are a kind of “fantasy island” economics, and that Truss and her side have no idea how they will pay off the borrowing needed to keep the British government afloat after two years of pandemic subsidies.
Sunak is a former hedge fund manager at Goldman Sachs. Really married Soraya. His wife, whom he met at Stanford, is the daughter of Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy who founded Infosys.
Sunak and his wife Akshata Murti made the Sunday Times Rich List of the 250 richest people in Britain, with an estimated combined fortune of £730 million, or about $875 million.
Truss is Britain’s first Conservative foreign minister, and says she is ready to run the country”from day one. “
Truss has won plaudits for her support of the Ukraine war – and has been the target of criticism from Russia.
Although she opposed the Brexit referendum in 2016, she has since said she regrets that vote, and has been a leading voice of the argument that Britain needs to rewrite the Northern Ireland clauses in the post-Brexit trade agreement. .
The two would spend the summer—at luncheons at the golf course, a civic hall at the Civic Center, secret gatherings with benefactors—presenting their causes.
In the meantime, Johnson will be saying goodbye long. On Wednesday, he bid farewell to the House of Commons – and to fellow lawmakers who gave him boots – in a raucous farewell to herald the end of his premiership and this strange and changing era for Boris.
Or as Johnson said, “I want to thank everyone here, and hasta la vista, darling!”
Seriously, those were his last words – a metaphor for the key phrase popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator 2.”
Capitalizing on President George W. Bush’s premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Johnson proclaimed his legacy: “mission largely accomplished.”
Was it appropriate? Was it spontaneous? Was she… a genius? Johnson, a serial hardliner who enjoys the role of entertaining speaker after dinner, has won the heart of his party and the country with such lines.
And do not forget that Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California, not once but twice.
Johnson is on his way out. But many in the halls of Westminster expect that one day he will be able to bring back.
It wasn’t a sad farewell from him on Wednesday, but everything on the surface, all the talking points, all the great hits, were delivered with fist pumps and the prime minister’s trademark high-speed rhetoric.
The House of Commons was packed–and boisterous, full of the usual insults and point-scoring, as was the custom of the weekly session known as the Prime Minister’s Questions, a wrestling contest for debaters who had graduated from Oxford and Cambridge.
There was braying, there was looting, and there wassway from stable positionA legendary former House speaker once called him.
On Wednesday, Johnson stood at the prime minister’s post in the “dispatch box” for what he called “probably, certainly” his last verbal hit.
At the end of his speech, he gave this advice to his successor:
“Stay close to the Americans, stand by the Ukrainians, and uphold freedom and democracy everywhere.”
Also: “Reduce taxes and eliminate controls where possible to make this the best place to live and invest.”
“Focus on the road ahead but always remember to check your rearview mirror,” the prime minister said.
“And remember, above all, it’s not Twitter that matters. It’s the people who sent us here,” he closed.
Early in the hour Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, asked Johnson what message the public might have because his job contenders “can’t find a single decent thing” to say about the prime minister or his government’s record. ?
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”