The first indication of what will happen after Monday’s election results to succeed Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister came from Rishi Sunak on Sunday, who indicated that if he loses the fight for Conservative Party leadership, his role would be to support the following government.
The British Indian former Chancellor said he intends to continue serving his Richmond, Yorkshire, constituency as a member of Parliament even if he loses the election to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in his final interview with the BBC before the results are announced.
“I look forward to supporting Conservative government in whatever capacity,” said Sunak, being asked what he would do if the outcome did not go his way.”I’m going to stay as a member of Parliament. It’s been a great privilege to represent my constituents in the Richmond in North Yorkshire as their member of Parliament, and I’ll love to keep doing that,” he added.
He responded, “Gosh, we’ve just concluded this campaign, and I need to recover from this one,” when asked if he would think about running again for the top position at the 10 Downing Street in a few years if he loses this time. This is the first indication that the 42-year-old former finance minister is beginning to doubt his ability to win the Tory leadership contest. He hasn’t ruled out running again, which will fuel rumors that if Liz Truss wins this election, he would wish to run again for the UK’s first Prime Minister of Indian descent.
New Prime Minister
In contrast to his early lead in the race against the Tory MPs, Mr. Sunak has been lagging Liz Truss in most polls of party members choosing a new leader to succeed Johnson. Both candidates have faced off against one another in a dozen hustings meetings around the UK in an effort to win over voters.
The cost-of-living crisis brought on by skyrocketing household energy costs and inflation has taken center stage in these meetings. The Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) is tallying the votes cast online and by mail by an estimated 160,000 Conservative members. Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of backbencher Tory MPs and returning officer for the leadership election, will announce the winner on Monday at 12:30 p.m. local time.
Around ten minutes before the announcement to the general public, the two race finalists will learn who of them has secured the top position at 10 Downing Street. A short acceptance speech by the newly elected Tory leader will follow shortly at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London, close to Downing Street. The winning candidate will spend the rest of Monday finalizing his or her Cabinet positions.
Tuesday will start with the outgoing prime minister, Boris Johnson, giving a final farewell statement on the steps of his Downing Street office before being flown to Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for his audience with the queen to formally resign as the head of state. As the 96-year-old monarch reduces her travels with age, his successor will arrive separately in Scotland hours later to receive a formal appointment as prime minister from Queen Elizabeth II at her Balmoral Castle residence.
This will be the first time in history that the appointment has been made outside of England and Buckingham Palace. The newly elected Prime Minister will return to Downing Street later on Tuesday afternoon to deliver his or her inaugural address before beginning the work of unveiling key Cabinet positions.
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