LONDON, July 11 (Xinhua) — The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) to replace incumbent Boris Johnson will be announced on September 5, Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee, said Monday.
Brady said the 1922 Committee, which runs the Tory leadership contest, had decided that candidates would have to have the support of 20 members of parliament (MPs) when nominations opened and closed on Tuesday. The threshold is significantly higher than the necessary support of eight deputies, provided by the usual rules of the party.
The first round of voting among Tory MPs will take place on Wednesday, he said, adding that challengers will need to get 30 votes to take part in a second ballot on Thursday.
The number of contenders will be whittled down to two before MPs leave for summer recess on July 21, he said.
The final two contenders will go to a postal vote in the summer of all Conservative members, numbering around 200,000, with the winner becoming the new Tory leader and the next UK prime minister.
“I really want us to get this done as smoothly, cleanly and quickly as possible,” Brady said, calling it a “perfectly reasonable” schedule to allow mail-in voting across the country this summer.
“We need to make sure there is a decent amount of time before the results are announced on September 5,” he added.
So far, 11 candidates have been vying to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, with International Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid among the front-runners. Most of the contenders have pledged to cut taxes, from the corporate tax to the income tax, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.
The race for the Tory leadership began after Johnson was forced to resign on Thursday amid an avalanche of cabinet ministers and other junior government officials resigning in protest at his scandal-ridden leadership. Johnson continues to serve as Prime Minister until he is replaced by a new Tory leader.
Johnson, who won the 2019 general election by a landslide, has lost support after being embroiled in a series of scandals, including the Partigate scandal and the Pincher scandal over his appointment of a politician accused of sexual harassment.