In the fight to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, favorite Liz Truss has received further prominent support. Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi wrote in an article for the Telegraph newspaper that the foreign minister would “abolish the outdated economic orthodoxy and run our economy in a conservative manner”. “Liz understands that the status quo is not an option in times of crisis.” Zahawi ran for prime minister himself, but was eliminated in the first ballot of the conservative parliamentary group.
With that, support for Truss continues to grow. The popular Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace had previously spoken out in favor of his cabinet colleague. In polls, the 47-year-old is clearly ahead of her opponent, Zahawi’s predecessor Rishi Sunak. Members of the Conservative Party have been receiving their election documents since Monday. You now have until September 2nd to cast your vote.
In an attempt to catch up, Sunak announced that he would cut income tax significantly from the current 20 percent to 16 percent by the end of the 2020s. Tax policy is one of the most important issues in the election campaign. Many conservatives accuse Sunak that during his tenure the tax burden rose to its highest level in 70 years. The 42-year-old points out that the measures to combat the consequences of the corona pandemic were necessary.
The base of the Conservative Party has been able to vote on the successor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson since Monday. Foreign Minister Liz Truss and ex-Finance Minister Rishi Sunak are up for election. The ballot papers should reach the members by August 5th, who can then cast their votes by post or online by September 2nd. The decision can be changed again until then. The result is to be announced on September 5th.
The winner then also moves into the seat of government in Downing Street. Incumbent Prime Minister Johnson announced his resignation on July 7 after unprecedented pressure from the cabinet. Several scandals followed. Many conservatives regret Johnson’s departure.
Secretary of State Truss (47) is also considered a favorite because she repeatedly defended the outgoing prime minister and stood by him loyally. On the other hand, critics within the party accuse her opponent Sunak (42) of having triggered Johnson’s downfall with his resignation. The head of government himself indicated this as well. Johnson’s confidante Nadine Dorries also caused outrage within the Tory party with a guest piece in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, in which she called Sunak an “assassin”. The Culture Minister also retweeted an image showing the former Treasury Secretary as Brutus stabbing Johnson from behind as Julius Caesar.
During the elections within the Tory faction, the initial eight candidates had sharply attacked each other. It will now be exciting to see if Truss and Sunak change the tone in the coming weeks. This Tuesday they meet in a TV duel. Before that, they will once again face questions from party members at a regional conference called “Hustings” in the south-west English city of Exeter. Ten such “Hustings” are planned before the end of the voting period. The main focus is on tax policy.
All members who joined the Tory party by 3 June at the latest are eligible to vote. As in previous runoff elections, criticism is caused by the fact that only a small circle of people decides who will be at the head of the country with around 67 million inhabitants.