Monday September 05, 2022

UK to learn name of new PM after long vote

UK to learn name of new PM after long vote

Conservative leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss appear on a TV show in London, Britain, on Sunday. Reuters

Rlixa Report

The UK will learn Monday who will be its next prime minister, with Liz Truss the favourite to succeed Boris Johnson and take charge as the country battles a spiralling cost-of-living crisis.

The result will be announced at 12:30pm (1130 GMT), after foreign minister Truss and her rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, spent the summer rallying support among the Conservative Party members who cast the final vote.


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Truss is expected to be named leader of the governing Conservative Party and Britain's next prime minister on Monday, poised to take power at a time when the country faces a cost of living crisis, industrial unrest and a recession.

After weeks of an often bad-tempered and divisive party leadership contest that pitted Truss against Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, Monday's announcement at 1130 GMT will trigger the beginning of a handover from Boris Johnson. He was forced to announce his resignation in July after months of scandal.

UK to learn name of new PM after long vote
Liz Truss speaks to her supporters at the NEC, Birmingham, England. File/AP

On Tuesday, the winner will travel to Scotland to meet Queen Elizabeth, who will ask the new leader to form a government.

Long the front runner in the race to replace Johnson, Truss, if appointed, will become the Conservatives' fourth prime minister since a 2015 election. Over that period the country has been buffeted from crisis to crisis, and now faces what is forecast to be a long recession triggered by sky-rocketing inflation which hit 10.1% in July.

If she wins, Truss will become the UK's third female prime minister following Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher.

Foreign minister under Boris Johnson, Truss, 47, has promised to act quickly to tackle Britain's cost of living crisis, saying that within a week she will come up with a plan to tackle rising energy bills and securing future fuel supplies.

UK to learn name of new PM after long vote
Rishi Sunak meets supporters at the NEC, Birmingham, England. File/AP

The 47-year-old has consistently been ahead of 42-year-old Sunak in polling among the estimated 200,000 Tory members eligible to vote.

The leadership contest began in July after Johnson announced his resignation following a slew of scandals and resignations from his government.

Postal and online voting closed Friday after eight weeks of campaigning that Truss described to the BBC as "the longest job interview in history".

The vote may not reflect general public opinion, however.

A YouGov poll in late August found 52 percent thought Truss would make a "poor" or "terrible" prime minister.

Forty-three per cent said they did not trust her "at all" to deal with the burning issue of the rise in the cost of living.



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