GMB: Nadhim Zahawi preparing leadership bid from Boris Johnson
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Boris Johnson has decided to resign as Prime Minister, after his own Cabinet fell apart around him. After two days of catastrophe for the Prime Minister, who is likely to replace him at the helm of the Conservative party?
More than 50 Tory MPs have resigned from Government since Tuesday evening.
It’s now widely believed that more than half of the party has lost confidence in the PM, and he’d surely lose a vote of no confidence if it were held right now.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the reaction to allegations of sexual assault from (former) Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher.
Downing Street initially denied knowing about Mr Pincher’s history of sexual assault, before later claiming it wasn’t aware of any “specific” allegations. It was later revealed that the PM was personally briefed on the incidents.
Tory leadership hopefuls
The absence of any obvious replacement for Mr Johnson likely prolonged the ousting of the PM.
There have been several Conservative MPs tipped to take over from the Prime Minister – ranging from fairly centrist candidates, to those favouring Boris’s right-wing policies.
Attorney General Suella Braverman has already thrown her name into the ring – although she didn’t resign from Government.
Other names tipped to take over from Mr Johnson include former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt.
The Government’s minister for trade policy was a big supporter of the Vote Leave campaign.
She was Conservative Home’s second favourite choice of next PM, according to a poll of Tory voters.
Former Chancellor Mr Sunak fell right down the party pecking order earlier this year, after a public backlash to his wife’s non-dom status.
He likely regained some support from the party after resigning from Cabinet early, alongside Sajid Javid.
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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was out of the country for Wednesday’s PMQs and cabinet showdown.
She has remained loyal to Mr Johnson, despite campaigning to remain in the EU in 2016.
Ben Wallace is the UK’s Defence Secretary, and was thrust into the public spotlight after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He’s currently Conservative Home’s favoured choice to be the next Tory leader.
Mr Javid has held two positions in Mr Johnson’s government – Chancellor and Health Secretary – and he’s resigned from them both.
His statement to the House of Commons after PMQs likely served as a job application to be the next PM, as he reaffirmed his “integrity”.
Attorny General Suella Braverman urged the PM to resign on Wednesday night – but stopped short of handing in her own letter of resignation to Mr Johnson.
She told ITV’s Peston that she’d throw her hat into the ring to be next Tory leader if Mr Johnson left Downing Street.
Nadhim Zahawi was promoted to Chancellor by Mr Johnson on Tuesday night, and gladly accepted the position.
He likely lowered his chances of gaining a Conservative backing by accepting the job, but the former Vaccines and Education Secretary is still in with a chance of the top job.
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