After a chaotic spell packed with political crises, Britain finds itself right back where it was before — with some of the same faces competing to become the country’s third prime minister in just eight weeks, and a dumbfounded public watching from the sidelines, The Washington Post
Supporters of the three presumed front-runners — Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and, yes, Boris Johnson — were quick out of the blocks Friday, making their pitches for why their person should get the keys to 10 Downing Street, the prime ministerial residence.
Could Johnson stage an extraordinary political comeback? Rumors are swirling that Johnson, who was the 55th British prime minister, might also want to be its 57th. There’s an active Bring Back Boris movement and a hashtag, #BorisorBust.
Johnson was on a Caribbean vacation when Liz Truss announced her resignation Thursday. His ally James Duddridge told the Press Association that he was flying back with the notion: “We are going to do this. I’m up for it.”
The bookies’ favorite is Sunak, the former finance minister who fell to Truss in the last leadership contest. Sunak was prescient in calling the Truss plan to slash taxes and increase debt “fantasy island” economics.
The only formally declared candidate as of Friday evening, though, was Mordaunt, the Tory leader in the House of Commons who is little known by the public but polls well with Conservative Party members.
“I’ve been encouraged by support from colleagues who want a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest,” Mordaunt tweeted.