Boris Johnson is currently running to succeed him as chancellor at the exchequer.
Former UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak is campaigning to replace Boris Johnson as head of the Conservative Party and PM, he announced on Friday, releasing a campaign video under the brand “Rishi is here.”
I’m standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister.
Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country. #Ready4Rishi
Sign up 👉 https://t.co/KKucZTV7N1 pic.twitter.com/LldqjLRSgF
— Ready For Rishi (@RishiSunak) July 8, 2022
Acknowledging the UK faces “Most serious [challenges]In a generation,” Sunak insists in the video that he is the man for the job, declaring he ran “The most difficult department of government in the hardest times, when we had to face the horrors of Covid” – a crisis which pitched the UK economy into the worst recession since World War II.
“Are we willing to face this moment honestly, seriously, and determined? Or do we resort to comforting fairytales, which may make us feel worse in the moment, but leave our children poorer tomorrow?” he asks rhetorically, with the words “honesty,” “Seriosity,” and “Determination” timed to coincide with honest, serious, and determined-looking photographs of the would-be PM.
His campaign narrative seems heavily based on his background as an immigrant. A three-minute clip describes how his grandmother, who came to the UK from India in order to find work and then paid for the transport of his family. However, it does not mention his own background – prior to becoming a Conservative MP in 2015 – as a hedge funder and Goldman Sachs banker, nor does it mention his wife is a billionaire.
The former financier’s Twitter, which also bears the tagline “Rishi is here,” vows to “Restores trust, builds the economy, and reunites the country.”
Sunak resigned from his post on Tuesday at the same time as Health Secretary Sajid Javid, making them the first two of what soon became a flood of dozens of departures from Johnson’s administration over the past several days. They issued an appeal for the PM’s resignation that was later accepted by a large faction of the party.
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Johnson refused initially to resign, but he announced his intention on Thursday that he will remain until the selection of a successor. While he has promised not to make any major changes in the meantime which could hamstring future PMs, many in the party – particularly those who resigned their positions over 10 Downing’s seemingly endless string of scandals – want him out immediately nonetheless, with one former party leader warning it was “Unwise, and possibly unsustainable” for Johnson to finish out the season as a caretaker PM.
A recent YouGov poll of Britons’ top choices to replace Johnson placed Sunak third, behind defense secretary Ben Wallace and trade minister Penny Mordaunt.