Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Boris Johnson quits, Rishi Sunak among probables

Boris Johnson has resigned after creating records of sort with so many ministers preceding him in quitting. After becoming prime minister in a triumphant manner in July 2019 on successfully steering Briton out of the Common Market, he could not complete three years. Controversies made him immobile and he kept on making mistakes and saying sorry all the time. Thus, his accomplishments were overshadowed by failures. Boris Johnson stepped down as prime minister and leader of the Tory party on Thursday.

The search for new prime minister has begun in all earnestness. If there are more than two candidates in the race, the party leadership would negotiate and bring the number of contenders to two. Whoever wins the race would first become the leader of Tory party. He will take over as prime minister after the queen invites him. Till then Boris Johnson would continue.

Former chancellor of Exchequor Rishi Sunak, Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are the front runners in the race. Sunak is son-in-law of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy. He was born in Southampton to as general medical practitioner father and a pharmacist mother who migrated from India. He and Akshara, Narayana Murthy’s daughter, met on the US university campus. Catapulted into the second most important rank in the Cabinet, Sunak has many admirers among the Tory MPs.  Other names in the race include Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who was the first along with Sunak to resign on the other day,  and new chancellor of exchequer Nadhim Zahari.  

If Sunak (or Sajid) becomes prime minister, he will be the first person of Asian origin to hold the top post. Sunak has gained positive image with his adroit management of country’s finances but his image has suffered with his wife Akshara Murthy’s non-domicile status and her overseas income. He also broke the lockdown rules when he attended the birthday party given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and he paid penalty along with his prime minister. The chances of snap polls are less since the ruling Tories are not enthusiastic about it. Their image has taken a beating of late. They need time to refurbish. General elections are due in January 2025.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor


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