The British Conservative Party intends to elect its new leader, who will also be the country’s new prime minister, before the beginning of September, the Financial Times reported on Thursday evening, citing MPs familiar with these plans. Outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he did not intend to make any major political changes until he resigned. After leaving Downing Street, he intends to remain an MP.
In the early afternoon on Thursday, the head of the British government Boris Johnson he announced that he would resign from both positions – Prime Minister and Party leader – but that he would hold them until the appointment of his successor.
The Conservative Party intends to elect its new leader before the beginning of September, the Financial Times reported on Thursday evening, citing MPs familiar with these plans.
An even earlier appointment is also possible. The PA news agency quotes Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen as saying that the pool of candidates should be limited to two before the House of Commons goes to summer recess in two weeks, and then it will take three to four weeks for all party members to vote.
– So by the end of August we will have a new leader of the Conservative Party. So Boris Johnson’s estimates that he will still be prime minister in October are highly inaccurate, Bridgen said.
Johnson promised to leave important decisions to his successors
In the afternoon, at the first meeting of the reconstructed government, Boris Johnson assured its members that he did not intend to make any major political changes until he resigned.
He told ministers that they were “committed to what we had already agreed” and that it “was not my job to make a big change of direction” during the time he had left in Downing Street.
He added that “he will focus on implementing the agenda on which the government was elected” and “major fiscal decisions should be left to the next prime minister.” Meanwhile, James Duddridge, MP and Parliament’s private secretary to the Prime Minister, announced that Johnson intends to remain an MP after leaving Downing Street. It is not an obvious decision, because at least its direct predecessor Theresa May She is still a rank-and-file MP, it was David Cameron and Tony Blair who quickly resigned from their parliamentary seats after their resignation.
How the Conservative Party elects Johnson’s successor
Earlier next week, the UK’s ruling Conservative Party will announce a schedule to elect a new leader to replace Boris Johnson in this role and as prime minister. However, the election procedure itself will be the same as before.
Any conservative MP – except Johnson himself – can apply for the leadership position, but to become a candidate for leader, he needs the support of at least eight club mates.
For those who meet this condition, the deputies will vote in the next rounds. After the first, those who get less than 5 percent will be eliminated. votes (currently it is 18 deputies), and if they all exceed this threshold, the person with the least support will be eliminated.
In the second, the threshold required to stay in the race increases to 10%, i.e. 36 MPs, and if everyone reaches it, the person with the fewest votes will fall out again. The next rounds will take place in the same way until the final two candidates are selected.
Of these, about 200,000 members of the Conservative Party will choose the winner by postal voting. The new leader will automatically become the country’s prime minister.
A long-term procedure for selecting a new leader
The entire process of selecting a new leader usually takes several weeks. In the previous situation, in 2019, a month and a half elapsed between Theresa May’s formal resignation and the announcement that Boris Johnson was chosen as the new leader.
Given that the transition period during which Johnson remains as prime minister is not favorable to the party or the country, party authorities will most likely try to shorten the election schedule as much as possible.
The new leader is not obliged to call elections to the House of Commons, although he may do so if he wants to strengthen his mandate or bring people closer to him. However, in the current climate where the conservatives are clearly losing out on polls with the Labor Party, it is highly unlikely that a new leader would opt for such a solution.
Main photo source: TOLGA AKMEN / PAP / EPA