As Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced mounting pressure from members of his own party to resign on Wednesday, the focus turned to who might succeed him as Conservative leader and head of government.
Mr Johnson has vowed to continue the fight amid the resignation of a series of ministers and their aides, but here are some lawmakers seen as favourites to take over the party’s top job if he is forced to step down.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss Appointed by Mr Johnson Last year, it was seen as a rising political star.She has held positions under former prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May, drawing parallels with Margaret Thatcher After she posted photos of her trip to Russia last year.
Ms Truss, the first female foreign secretary in a Conservative government, was cheered by the public for her support for sanctions on Russian oligarchs at the start of the war in Ukraine. But she also expressed strong support for Johnson following the departure of two of his cabinet ministers on Tuesday, so it remains to be seen whether that loyalty will hurt her politically.
Nadhim Zahawi, who was named chancellor just hours after Rishi Sunak resigned, has risen through the ranks of the Conservative Party over the past decade and is seen as a leader A strong contender for the party. He has been on Mr Johnson’s side but made it clear on Wednesday morning that his main focus was serving the country.
Mr. Zahavi, 55, has served as education minister and vaccine minister during the coronavirus pandemic. He was born in Iraq in 1967 and moved to the UK with his family after Saddam Hussein came to power in the 1970s. He often talks about how the UK has given him and his family “everything” and he feels a duty to serve the country.
Jeremy Hunt, former foreign secretary Mr Johnson lost last party leadership contest, also seen as a potential party leader, is the bookmaker’s favorite top job. After losing the 2019 leadership contest, he moved to the party’s back seat but remains an influential member.
Since January 2020, Mr Hunt has chaired the Select Committee on Health and Social Care. He has been an outspoken critic of the government’s response to Covid-19 throughout the pandemic. Mr Hunt initially opposed Brexit in a key referendum in 2016 but has come out in support of it in the years since.His public gaffes have hurt him in the past, including when He accidentally described his Chinese wife as Japanese.
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak, whose resignation on Tuesday dealt a heavy blow to Johnson, has long been seen as a potential party leader despite his reputation. Overshadowed by recent controversies.
He was hurt politically earlier this year when it became public that his wealthy wife evaded taxes by claiming special status and that he himself continued to hold a U.S. green card, allowing him to live and work in the U.S. for months. After he became Britain’s top financial officer.He was also fined Violating coronavirus lockdown rules In 2020, he briefly attended Mr Johnson’s birthday celebration at 10 Downing Street.
Still, Mr Sunak’s ability and his role in delivering aid packages to businesses and individuals during the coronavirus pandemic have made him popular with the party and voters.