Who will be the next PM?

The next PM will be decided by 124,000 Tory party members. But will a new PM change anything?

950_MW_P10_P&E

Johnson leads the field

The next PM will be decided by 124,000 Tory party members. But will it change anything? Emily Hohler reports

Donald Trump may have been elected by just 46% of 63 million Americans, says Simon Jenkins in The Guardian. But Britain's next prime minister will be chosen by 124,000 members of a "benighted Conservative party". And those members must choose between two candidates selected by their party's 314 MPs. Theresa May resigns on Friday, and her successor is expected to be selected by the week starting 22 July. At the moment, the most likely outcome is Boris Johnson and Michael Gove being offered to members, and Johnson being chosen. Eleven MPs are currently in the running, but the numbers are expected to be whittled down fast as a new ruling by the 1922 Committee means that an MP now requires the support of eight MPs in order to enter the contest, say Patrick Scott, Ashley Kirk and Asa Bennett in The Daily Telegraph. At present the frontrunners are Johnson, who has the publicly declared support of 40 Tory MPs, and Gove, who has the backing of 26. Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab have the support of 25 and 22 respectively.

The Michael Jackson strategy

It is notable that Johnson now has the backing of Robert Jenrick, Rishi Sunak and Oliver Dowden, all seen as "sensible centrists" whose decision will encourage other One Nation rising stars to "get on board", says Matt Chorley in The Times. In a piece for the paper, the trio warn that the Tories face an "existential threat" and that only Johnson can save them. At his first major set of hustings this week, Johnson insisted he was "best placed to beat Jeremy Corbyn and put Nigel Farage back in his box", and said it was critical to deliver Brexit by 31 October. While acknowledging that most centrist Tories will not countenance a no-deal exit, he said that any government should prepare for one. "The more determined we are to pursue no-deal, the less likely we will have to deploy it."

And there you have it, says Daniel Finkelstein in The Times. Unfortunately, no candidate, Johnson included, has a "brilliant but secret" solution to Brexit. "If he hasn't already gone public with a startling scheme," he hasn't got one. Quite, says Marina Hyde in The Guardian. Ultimately, "a new face' is going to solve the Tory party's underlying problems about as much as a new face' used to solve Michael Jackson's underlying problems". My advice is to start drinking as soon as you see the opening credits for this election's TV debates. "Then keep doing it until the mid-2030s."

Recommended

Why are people panicking about fuel shortages?
UK Economy

Why are people panicking about fuel shortages?

With huge queues forming at petrol stations around the country, Saloni Sardana looks at the reasons behind the fuel shortage and asks how long it's l…
28 Sep 2021
Why we will be reliant on fossil fuels for a long time to come
Energy

Why we will be reliant on fossil fuels for a long time to come

The energy crisis has shown us just how reliant we still are on fossil fuels. And we will continue to rely on them for a long time yet, says Merryn So…
27 Sep 2021
How the UK can help solve the semiconductor shortage
UK Economy

How the UK can help solve the semiconductor shortage

The EU’s plan to build a semiconductor manufacturing industry will fail, but the UK should take advantage of that, says Matthew Lynn
26 Sep 2021
What's behind Britain’s looming energy crisis
Energy

What's behind Britain’s looming energy crisis

Global natural gas prices have soared as resurgent demand collides with supply disruptions. The UK is especially vulnerable and could be heading for a…
24 Sep 2021

Most Popular

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer
Investment strategy

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer

Inflation need not be a worry unless it is driven by labour market shortages. Unfortunately, writes macroeconomist Philip Pilkington, that’s exactly w…
17 Sep 2021
What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us
Inflation

What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us

As UK inflation hits 3.2%, Dominic Frisby compares the cost of living 50 years ago with that of today, and explains how debt drives prices higher.
15 Sep 2021
The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest
Small cap stocks

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest

We are living in strange times. But the basics of investing remain the same: buy fairly-priced stocks that can provide an income. And there are few be…
13 Sep 2021