Highlights

  • Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid emerging as top 3 contenders for UK PM's post
  • Boris Johnson resigned as PM after facing spate of ministerial resignations
  • Johnson will remain in charge until party elections in October

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Who are the top three contenders to replace Boris Johnson as UK PM?

Boris Johnson’s grip on power started slipping since Tuesday when Rishi Sunak, and Sajid Javid quit as finance minister and health secretary, respectively.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday resigned as the Conservative Party leader and consequently as the Prime Minister after facing a spate of resignations from ministers in his scandal-hit government.
Johnson’s grip on power started slipping since Tuesday when Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid quit as finance minister and health secretary, respectively. With the country staring at fresh premiership elections, here are three potential candidates who could replace the controversial Tory leader:

Rishi Sunak
Indian-origin Rishi Sunak, a former hedge-fund manager and the former finance minister, is believed to be the top contender for the post.
Soon after his appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he quickly had to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and became hugely popular for rolling out a massive package worth billions of pounds to help businesses and workers.
Sunak, who is a low-tax, small-state conservative, later faced criticism for his ‘slow’ and ‘inadequate’ response to the cost-of-living crisis affecting Britons. The controversy over his millionaire wife's tax affairs also dented his reputation.
Amid the growing unpopularity of Johnson, Sunak’s early move to quit the cabinet may have gained him some brownie points.

Liz Truss
Foreign secretary Liz Truss has been a popular leader within the Conservative party for her support of Brexit and her libertarian views on economics and trade. Her support for Johnson after the departure of Sunak and Javid also bolstered her standing among loyalists.
Truss is the second woman to lead the Foreign Office and has been credited for securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after six years and for imposing sanctions on Russia.
First elected in 2010 as MP for South West Norfolk, she has had her own share of controversies. Once, she was mocked for giving a speech at the 2015 Conservative conference which featured an impassioned section on UK cheese imports.

Also Watch| Boris Johnson steps down, to continue as interim PM

Sajid Javid
The former health secretary has held several senior roles within the cabinet and contested for party leadership in 2019.
Javid is a believer in free-market capitalism, individualism, and small-state government. He is also a fan of former UK PM Margaret Thatcher.
Born to a first-generation Pakistani immigrant family, Javid rose from modest beginnings. His father worked as a bus conductor. He pursued a successful career in the City before becoming a Tory MP in 2010.
As health secretary, Javid shifted the government’s COVID-19 policy away from mass restrictions and towards individual responsibility.

For any one of these candidates to be successful, they need the support of at least eight Conservative MPs to stand.

In case there are more than two candidates, Tory MPs will hold a series of votes until just two remain. This is followed by a ballot of the wider Conservative party membership to select the winner.

Also Watch| Boris Johnson fights for his future: what led to spate of resignations | Explained

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