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Candidates jostle to replace British Prime Minister Johnson in a full race

  • Nine candidates have launched campaigns to become the next prime minister
  • The new leader should be in office by September 5, the party leader says
  • Tax plans determine the early phase of the leadership debate

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – The competition to succeed Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathered momentum on Sunday as five other candidates declared their intention to stand, with many promising lower taxes and a clean start from Johnson’s scandal-ridden Promised Prime Minister.

Johnson said on Thursday he would step down as Prime Minister after lawmakers and cabinet colleagues rebelled over his handling of a series of scandals, including breaking lockdown rules at gatherings at his Downing Street office.

He said he will stay until a new leader is elected.

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A member of a Conservative party committee that sets the rules for leadership elections said Sunday the final result would be announced in September.

Junior Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt officially announced that she would stand as a candidate on Sunday, joining Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Finance Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and former Ministers Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid announcing their candidacy for the leadership in time for the Sunday newspapers and the Total reached nine. Continue reading

“This is a critical turning point for our country. I believe a socialist or socialist-led coalition government at the next election would be a disaster for Britain,” Mordaunt said in a statement. “We have to win the next election.”

The Conservative Party’s 1922 Legislative Committee, which sets the rules for the party in Parliament, will finalize the precise timetable after a session on Monday.

Bob Blackman, an officer of the 1922 committee, said nominations would be finalized Tuesday night, followed by a process to reduce the nominees to the final two by July 21.

Party members would elect a new party leader over the summer, who would then become prime minister.

“We will (choose the last two) by July 21 to give party members ample time for husting sessions and a postal ballot, then to lead to a new leader by September 5,” he told Sky News.


When Shapps, Zahawi, Hunt and Javid entered the race, they all promised tax cuts, pitting them against the current favorite, former Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak, whose budget last year put Britain on track for its highest tax burden since the 1950s.

“I believe in lower tax, less regulation and an economy with less red tape,” Shapps told Sky News, adding he will hold an emergency budget to bring forward a one pence cut in the income tax rate, which is currently planned to 2024 one freeze the planned increase in corporate income tax and aim to downsize the public service.

Hunt, a former secretary of state who came second in the leadership contest when Johnson took office in 2019, and Javid, who has twice resigned from Johnson’s administration, both said they would cut the corporate tax rate to 15%.

Hunt said no Conservative should either raise taxes or offer unfunded tax cuts. When asked if tax cuts would lead to inflation, Hunt said, “I don’t agree with that when it comes to corporate taxes.”

“If you stimulate consumer demand when there is demand-driven inflation there is that risk, but we have to suppress inflation. So I would be very careful not to promise (tax) cuts that would fuel inflation,” he said.

The Mail on Sunday said Secretary of State Liz Truss will launch her campaign on Monday by promising to cut taxes and tackle the cost of living crisis, while one of her main competitors for the role, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, has self-excluded.

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Reporting by Alistair Smout; Adaptation by Barbara Lewis and Raissa Kasolowsky

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