UK’s Sunak and Truss go through to final stage of leadership contest

By TOI Editor   July 20, 2022   Update on : July 20, 2022

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, exited his final spectacular parliamentary session to acclaim from his party, jeers from opponents, and an intriguing departure line: The mission was mostly completed. Goodbye, sweetheart.

The next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party is now guaranteed to be an ethnic minority or a woman, following the selection of two finalists by Tory lawmakers on Wednesday, former finance minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, with a winner to be announced in September.

Sunak and Truss provide a choice for Tory voters between a guy who claims to be the only grownup in the race and a woman who claims to be the only one who has demonstrated genuine leadership.

Johnson was forced to retire earlier this month following a mass revolt over the latest in a series of scandals that his party determined had damaged his capacity to lead the country any longer after three difficult years in power.

In his final Prime Minister’s Questions, a monthly political institution that pits the prime minister against his opponents in raucous discussion, Johnson sought to define his legacy around the COVID-19 reaction and his backing for Ukraine in its defense against Russia.

Only two weeks previously, some of those applauding had resigned from his administration, chastised his leadership, and urged his resignation. According to reporters in the chamber, his predecessor, Theresa May, did not stand to cheer.

Opponents did not participate in the celebration, having previously used the question-and-answer period to grill him on a variety of topics, from the unresolved Brexit to his reaction to rising living expenses.

With an election coming in 2024 on the horizon, opposition leader Keir Starmer tried to emphasize divisions inside the governing party, detailing complaints of government policy laid forth by legislators from Johnson’s own party aspiring to succeed him. He’s chosen to descend from his gold-walled bunker one final time to assure us that everything is alright. Starmer added, “I’m going to miss the delusion.”

Johnson said that the critique was entirely humorous. In his farewell speech, he advised his yet-unnamed successor to stay close to the US, assist Ukraine, lower taxes and deregulate, don’t allow the finance ministry stifle bold projects, and listen to the voters.

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