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Johnson finally exits but is replaced by one of his most senior ministers

29th Jul 2022
Johnson finally exits but is replaced by one of his most senior ministers

Tory members will choose between (Right) former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to succeed PM Boris Johnson
(Credit: Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing St)

Hamed Chapman

Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be succeeded by one of his senior cabinet ministers, effectively ending any hope for a fresh start following his tumultuous term that resulted in his resignation and ended in such ignominy.

In a series of internal votes organised by the backbench 1922 Committee, Tory MPs whittled down the candidates seeking to replace their party leader to a choice between two stalwarts of his government, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

During the parliamentary summer recess, party members will decide on who will succeed the caretaker PM, deposed by waves of ministerial resignations and the constant trickle-down of protests about his leadership and integrity rendering it impossible for him to govern. When announcing his eventual resignation, Johnson blamed Tory MPs, who turned against him for following a “herd instinct”, yet was adamant that he was “immensely proud” of his achievements despite bringing his high office into disrepute with a never-ending list of scandals and failures.

“It is clear now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister,” he acknowledged, but before claiming in his final PMQs that his “mission had been largely accomplished.”

Johnson was, bizarrely, applauded as he left the Commons chamber for the last time by his very MPs who had forced him out in disgrace. In the end, it was the PM’s promotion of Chris Pincer to deputy whip despite being aware of sexual misconduct allegations against him, which proved to be the final straw for his cabinet.

The SNP’s Parliamentary leader, Ian Blackford, expressed hope that the Prime Minister would use his newly gained spare time to reflect on his conduct during his three years in office.

“The Prime Minister is a rule-breaker—illegally shutting down Parliament, partying through the pandemic, handing out PPE contracts to cronies, and unilaterally changing the ministerial code,” Blackford said. Noting he was “still under investigation because he cannot be trusted to tell the truth.” The result of the leadership contest ended in a virtual three-way split with Trade Minister, Penny Mordaunt, winning the support of 105 of the 357 Tory MPs, just under 30 per cent, but behind Truss, who gained 113, some 32 per cent, and Sunak, supported by 137, 38.5 per cent.

“I am excited to now take to the country to make the case to the Conservative Party about my bold new economic plan that will cut taxes, grow our economy, and unleash the potential of everyone in our United Kingdom,” Truss said.

Sunak suggested that the election should be about selecting the best person to defeat Labour at the next general election, due in over two years and argued that he was “the only candidate who could do so.”

Labour described Sunak and Truss as “continuity candidates” and Johnson’s “stooges” for having backed his every decision, including all his 15 tax rises. Former Shadow Home Office minister, Jess Phillips, tweeted that the Tories had “cleared out Boris Johnson’s era by following it up with two of his most fierce loyalists. Both let Pincher waltz into his job, both defended Johnson on Partygate, [and] both have overseen all the services currently crumbling.”

 

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EDITORIAL: Removing unrepentant Johnson is just the start

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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