What happens if Boris Johnson resigns? Who would be the next UK Prime Minister?
A build-up of scandals in the Conservative Party has shaken Johnson’s government and forced numerous ministers to resign from the cabinet.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, will resign from his post today after facing the most significant challenge to his premiership. More than two thousand members of his government including fifty-seven MPs have resigned over revelations that he lied over the appointment of MP Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip.
Pincher was the subject of credible claims of sexual misconduct, which have since been upheld, when Johnson put him forward for the role. The PM then denied any knowledge of the case, before being publically disproven by Crossbench Peer Lord Simon McDonald.
Johnson’s cabinet turns on him
After facing a the liasons commitee for more than an hour of questioninng, Johnson returned to 10 Downing Street to be met by members of his goverment who urged him to step aside for the sake of the country. Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer after the bombshell resignations of Rishi Sunak, resigned after just one day on the job. In his resignation letter he confirmed the meeting at 10 Downing, saying, “yesterday, I made clear to the Prime Minister alongside my collegues in No10 that there was only one direction where this was going, and that he should leave with dignity.”
This came after the high profile resignation of former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who along with Rishi Sunak had been long-standing political allies of Johnson. Javid spoke out against Johnson, calling on him to resign during Prime Ministers Questions in Parliment on Wednesday afternoon.
Both Javid and Zahawi are likely to put their hat in the race to replace Johnson.
Who are the favourites to be the next Prime Minister?
If Johnson were to leave he would be replaced by another member of his own party, to be chosen in a Conservative leadership contest to decide the leader of both the party and the country. There would not be another general election if Johnson leaves the role.
The leadership contest would take place in two stages. Firstly, Conservative MPs can put their names forward for the role and will be whittled down to two candidates by fellow members of the parliamentary party.
Once the two final candidates have been decided, the vote will then be put to the wider party membership which consists of Conservative-supporting citizens across the country. The winner will become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Currently the favourites to be the next Prime Minister are as follows:
- MP Nadhim Zaahaqi, former Chancellor of the Exchequer
- MP Penny Mordaunt, current Minister of State for Trade Policy
- MP Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer
- MP Liz Truss, current Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
- MP Ben Wallace, current Secretary of State for Defence
- MP Jeremy Hunt, current Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee