Most of us have been wondering what’s going on with the British government. Our ally, always famous for being calm and sensible, seems to have gone crazy since the Brexit referendum three years ago. Last month the long-running crisis finally claimed Prime Minister Theresa May, who infuriated her own Conservative Party by trying to agree a compromise deal keeping the UK (mostly) in the European Union.
Now, the campaign to choose her replacement is in full swing, and the field of challengers is quickly thinning out. With MPs voting to knock out Roderick Stewart, the last supporter of May’s deal, the Tory party is swinging back to its right-wing roots. Two more rounds of voting by MPs will reduce the list to only one pair of candidates, and the party’s registered members will then have a final vote after four weeks of campaigning.
Who’s left in the race?
- Sajid Javid. The Home Secretary is a long shot for the leadership due to low popularity among the party membership. He’s playing on his background – the son of Pakistani immigrants – as a strength.Javid also wants to be Britain’s first Muslim prime minister; yet most Brits don’t want a Muslim prime minister. At the last round of voting, Javid attracted 38 supporters.
- Michael Gove. The Environment Secretary is a controversial figure. He’s widely distrusted by many Tories because his opinion on Brexit seems to shift more frequently than most people change undergarments. He also caused chaos during the last leadership race in 2016 when he stabbed front runner Boris Johnson in the back during an attempt to grab the top job himself. In Wednesday’s vote, 51 MPs supported Gove.
- Jeremy Hunt. The Health Secretary originally voted to stay in the EU; now, he allegedly believes the EU should be protected. But Hunt is short on details about how to get Britain out of the bloc. Much of the man’s support comes from the centre and left of the party. Right now Hunt is in second place, with 54 backers on Wednesday.
- Boris Johnson. The former Foreign Secretary. He resigned in protest at May’s compromise deal – came close to winning the leadership in 2016. This time he’s determined to get there. Taking a hard line on Brexit – he says Britain will leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal – Johnson was supported by 143 MPs at Wednesday’s vote, giving him a commanding lead. He also has the support of at least 75% of party members. Unless he’s caught doing something horrible before mid-July, the former Mayor of London will be Britain’s next leader.
~Reliable News in under a minute