They are still five in the race for power launched after the announcement last Thursday of the resignation of Boris Johnson, swept away by an avalanche of departures triggered by an overflow of scandals and lies.
Secretary of State for International Trade Penny Mordaunt, ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, head of diplomacy Liz Truss, ex-secretary of state for equality Kemi Badenoch and MP Tom Tugendhat were able to discuss their vision on the British television channel Channel 4.
The candidates refused to indulge in polemics and personal attacks, emphasizing their common membership in the conservative family. But the question
Is Boris Johnson honest? embarrassed them.
Occasionallyreplied with a laugh Kemi Badenoch.
Nopedecided Tom Tugendhat to applause while the other three kicked into touch, sputtering vague answers.
Cultivating his very smooth image, Rishi Sunak, 42, said to himself
proud to have participated in the Johnson government, but resigned last week, because
enough is enoughbringing with it the departure of some sixty other members of the executive.
He came on Thursday ahead of a second vote organized by Conservative MPs to eliminate candidates, ahead of Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss.
Little known to the British, the former Minister of Defense Penny Mordaunt would beat all her rivals in the event of a duel, according to the polls.
After being attacked by its competitors for remarks deemed too
woke concerning transgender people, she now faces criticism concerning her professional seriousness, the former minister David Frost having issued
serious reservations on his ability to lead the UK.
We are all responsible for our own campaigns and I take it as a big compliment that no one wants to compete against me.she reacted during the debate.
For her part, Liz Truss highlighted her record in government, citing Brexit, Northern Ireland and the war in Ukraine.
The 46-year-old candidate, the darling of the Johnson camp, is now trying to catch up and is trying to rally the right-wing of the Conservative party around her. She received Thursday the support of Suella Braverman, eliminated by the deputies.
According to an instant poll taken after the debate with 1,159 viewers, Tom Tugendhat was deemed the most convincing (36%), ahead of Rishi Sunak (25%), Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch (12% each) and Liz Truss (6%).
If the Prime Minister has refrained from publicly expressing any preference for
don’t harm anyone’s chanceshe exhorts according to the Times eliminated candidates to support
anyone except Rishi.
The close guard of the future ex-head of government is convinced that the ex-minister, whose departure from the government helped precipitate the fall of Boris Johnson, had been biding his time for months. What supporters of Rishi Sunak deny.
In order to select the new Prime Minister, Conservative MPs will vote again on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to eliminate the candidates one by one. Once the distribution of the final head-to-head has been determined, the choice will fall to the members of the Conservative party who will vote by mail during the summer. The result of the vote is expected on September 5.
The appointment of a new head of government comes in a complicated economic context in the United Kingdom with inflation of 9.1% in May.
While Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt explained that they were planning tax cuts, Rishi Sunak blasted
fairy talesjudging it unrealistic to lower them given the economic situation.
At the Treasury, Rishi Sunak has raised taxes and has been accused of not doing enough to relieve British households strangled by the cost of living crisis.
The candidates also discussed the National Health Service (NHS) weakened by years of austerity, climate concerns and energy prices. Two other televised debates are organized, Sunday on the ITV channel and Tuesday on SkyNews.