London: The new UK Prime Minister replacing incumbent Boris Johnson will be announced on September 5, said Graham Brady, Chairman of the Conservative Party’s backbench 1922 Committee.
Brady on Monday added that the 1922 Committee, which runs the Tory leadership contest, has decided that the candidates will have to get the backing of 20 members of Parliament (MPs) when nominations open and close on Tuesday. The threshold is markedly higher than the required backing of eight MPs seen in the party’s usual rules.
The first round of voting among Tory MPs will be held on Wednesday, he said, adding that the contenders will need to receive 30 votes to enter the second ballot which is to be held on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The number of contenders will be whittled down to two before MPs break up for the summer recess on July 21, he said.
The final two contenders will then go through a postal ballot of all the Conservative members, numbering around 200,000, over the summer and the winner will become the new Tory leader and UK’s next Prime Minister.
“I am very keen we get this concluded as smoothly, cleanly and rapidly as possible,” said Brady, calling it a “perfectly reasonable” timetable that would allow the postal ballot to take place around the country over the summer.
“We do need to make sure there is a decent amount of time before the result is announced on September 5,” he added.
So far, 11 candidates have launched their bids to become the Conservative Party’s next leader, with International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid among the frontrunners. Most of the contenders have vowed to cut taxes, ranging from corporation tax to income tax, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.
The Tory leadership race was triggered after Johnson was forced to resign on Thursday by an avalanche of resignations of cabinet ministers and other junior government officials in protest against his scandal-hit leadership. Johnson continues to serve as the caretaker Prime Minister until a new Tory leader succeeds him.
Johnson, who won a landslide victory in the general elections in 2019, lost support after he was caught in a string of scandals, including the Partygate scandal and Pincher scandal involving his appointment of a politician accused of sexual misconduct.