Who could succeed as British Prime Minister?
Britain’s Boris Johnson has announced his resignation as Conservative leader, paving the way for an internal party competition to replace him and become prime minister.
Although several possible successors have been suggested, there is no clear favorite.
The UK’s first Hindu Chancellor of the Exchequer, who resigned on Tuesday, was until recently the favorite of bookmakers.
But his prospects have been dented by questions about his private wealth and his family’s tax arrangements.
His resignation saw him return as one of the bookmakers’ favorites for the top job.
Sunak, 42, has a high profile on social media and has been applauded for supporting the economy during the pandemic.
But his initial refusal to allow more support in the face of a cost of living crisis hurt his popularity.
Former Foreign and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, 55, lost to Johnson in the 2019 leadership race when he ran as the “serious” alternative.
Hunt sent a thinly veiled campaign message for a new leadership bid last month, saying that under Johnson “the electorate no longer trusts us” and “we are on the verge of losing the next general election.”
But the fluent Japanese doesn’t have Johnson’s charisma. His pre-pandemic record as health secretary was recently ransacked by a Johnson ally.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, 46, is popular among members of the Conservative Party, appreciated for her outspokenness and willingness to go on the political attack.
But it also raised questions about her judgement, for example when in February she encouraged the British to fight in Ukraine. Critics say his leadership posture is too overt.
When she headed the Department for International Trade, some MPs dubbed it the “Department for Instagramming Truss” because of her prolific output on the social media site.
Absent this week at a G20 meeting, she would have cut short her trip to return to Westminster and make a statement later Thursday.
Javid, who also stepped down as health secretary on Tuesday, previously stepped down as finance minister in 2020.
The 52-year-old is the son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver who became a high-profile banker.
Like Sunak, he also faces questions about his personal wealth and tax affairs.
The 52-year-old Defense Secretary narrowly topped some recent polls for the Conservatives’ next favorite leader because of his role in the Ukraine crisis.
The former Army officer and Johnson ally has played down the importance of leading the party, but is seen as outspoken and competent.
Recently appointed finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, 55, has been praised for overseeing the rollout of Britain’s pandemic vaccines, before heading the education department.
Zahawi is a former refugee from Iraq who came to Britain as a child and spoke no English. Before entering politics, he co-founded the prominent polling firm YouGov.
But his private wealth also attracted attention, notably when he claimed parliamentary expenses to heat his stables.
The 49-year-old former army officer is a prominent backbencher who chairs parliament’s influential foreign affairs committee.
Tugendhat has indicated he would run in any leadership race, but there is no love lost between him and Johnson loyalists.
A hawk on China, he criticized the government’s handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Mordaunt, 49, is Britain’s first female defense secretary and is currently deputy trade minister.
The Royal Navy reservist is considered likely to run, but considered a long shot.
A staunch Brexit supporter and key figure in the 2016 ‘Leave’ campaign, she has been touted as a potential unity candidate who could gain support from warring factions of the Conservative Party.
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, 48, led the country when Johnson was in intensive care in hospital with COVID-19 in 2020.
The former lawyer and black belt in karate is considered a reliable ally.
But his transfer to justice as foreign minister was seen as a demotion after he initially failed to cut short his vacation as the Afghan capital Kabul fell to the Taliban.
Attorney General Suella Braverman has revealed she intends to enter a party leadership race in media interviews since Wednesday in which she urged Johnson to go.
The arch-Brexiteer, 42, is another long-time candidate popular within the party for her Euroscepticism.
She is one of 28 so-called ‘Spartan’ Tory MPs, who refused to back ex-Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on each of the three occasions it was passed in parliament.