By SYLVIA HUI – Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Eight politicians are in the running to replace Boris Johnson as the next leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister.
Here are the candidates who won the support of at least 20 Conservative lawmakers to qualify for Wednesday’s second round of voting:
RISHI SUNAK, FORMER TREASURY CHIEF
Sunak, 42, is the best-known of the party’s potential leaders and one of the bookmakers’ favorites to succeed Johnson.
His public profile rose after he became head of the UK Treasury in 2020, a job that involved overseeing the billions of pounds doled out during the coronavirus pandemic to help businesses and workers.
But he has been criticized for not doing enough to ease the country’s growing cost of living crisis. His popularity also plunged after police fined him for attending one of the government’s lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, which houses the Prime Minister’s office and official residence.
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Sunak says the tax cut promises made by many rival candidates are “not credible” and that he would only cut taxes once inflation was brought under control.
LIZ TRUSS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY
Truss, 46, took the top cabinet post in September after serving as trade minister. She is also the UK’s chief negotiator with the European Union on post-Brexit issues.
Truss, Britain’s top diplomat, has made no secret of her leadership ambitions and has sought to emulate former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in carefully selected photos on social media. If selected, she says she wants to cut taxes “from day one” and reverse an income tax hike.
PENNY MORDAUNT, MINISTER FOR TRADE
Mordaunt, 49, is popular with many conservatives and is another favorite for bookmakers to win.
She was the first woman to hold the post of UK Defense Secretary, although Johnson fired her shortly after becoming Prime Minister in 2019 because she backed another candidate for the helm of the UK. gone, Jeremy Hunt.
Mordaunt, a former reality TV contestant, played a leading role in the pro-Brexit campaign in 2016.
JEREMY HUNT, FORMER CABINET MINISTER
Hunt, who served as both health and foreign secretary, ran against Johnson in the 2019 leadership race. He lost heavily and was dumped from the Cabinet.
Hunt, 55, remained a member of parliament and kept himself in the public eye by grilling the government’s pandemic policies as head of the health and social care select committee.
TOM TUGENDHAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMONS FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Tugendhat, a 48-year-old lawmaker and former soldier, has never held a cabinet post but heads parliament’s influential foreign affairs committee. He is considered a centrist and presented his candidacy as an opportunity for a good start.
He said he was consulting with a “broad coalition” of colleagues to bridge the divides in government.
KEMI BADENOCH, FORMER EQUALITY MINISTER
Badenoch, who worked as a software engineer and in a private bank, grew up in Nigeria and says he experienced poverty firsthand.
The 42-year-old lawmaker was initially seen as an outsider for the race, but the endorsement of party heavyweight Michael Gove has boosted her profile.
She wants to lower taxes and lead a “limited government focused on the essentials”.
NADHIM ZAHAWI, HEAD OF TREASURY
Zahawi, 55, rose to prominence as vaccine minister during the pandemic. Co-founder of market research firm YouGov, Zahawi was elected to parliament in 2010.
He was born in Iraq to a Kurdish family and came to the UK as a child when his parents fled Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
SUELLA BRAVERMAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL
Braverman is a lawmaker and lawyer who became Attorney General of England in 2020.
Eurosceptic and supporter of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, Braverman, 42, says he wants to offer ‘all the great opportunities of Brexit’ – including a tougher line on immigration and leaving the court’s jurisdiction European human rights.
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