London, Oct 20 (UiTV/IANS) – With UK’s beleaguered Prime Minister Liz Truss resigning, Conservative MP and Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker has said that former British Chancellor of Indian-origin Rishi Sunak will make a good Prime Minister.
“I feel the country needs a change of direction… Rishi would be a good Prime Minister… We have a number of people in the party who could be good Prime ministers,” Baker told ITV’s Peston.
With just 45 days in office, Truss resigned on Thursday, saying she would remain as Prime Minister until a successor had been chosen, which she said would happen within a week.
Speaking outside 10 Downing Street office, Truss accepted that she could not deliver the promises she made when she was running for Conservative leader, having lost the faith of her party.
“I recognise though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” she said.
Barely two months after losing to Liz Truss in the race for UK Prime Minister, Sunak has once again been emerging as the favourite to replace her with 100 Tory MPs considering a no-confidence motion against her.
A YouGov poll of Tory members found that 55 per cent would now vote for 42-year-old Sunak if they were able to vote again, while just 25 per cent would vote for Truss.
According to a Bloomberg report, Conservative MPs are utterly divided over who should take over.
“Rebellious Conservative MPs are destroying the capacity for the party to govern,” Baker told ITV Peston and instead, asked the MPs to do it privately.
Sunak’s warnings about Truss’s economic plans have been largely borne out, which gives him credibility with markets.
“Yet he has large numbers of enemies in the Tory party. There are about 100 MPs on the ideological right of the party — including ardent Brexiteers and supporters of Johnson — who are determined to prevent a Sunak premiership,” the Bloomberg reported.
An MP had said earlier that they are backing “ABSOM” — Anyone But Sunak Or Mordaunt.
Sunak is also blamed for triggering former PM Boris Johnson’s downfall. One minister warned that opting for Sunak would lead to even more Tory infighting, Bloomberg reported.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt is also seen as a PM contender. But he told Sky News he had ruled out ever becoming prime minister for family reasons.
Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister, not confirmed yet
Up to 6 p.m. on Thursday London time, Rishi Sunak, the former Indian origin Chancellor of the Exchequer in the British government, had not indicated either way if he will stand in the contest to be Prime Minister.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper, however, reported he will stand. He has emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite.
Meanwhie, for the first time in British history, a Prime Minister could be selected by a political party by online voting. This though will only happen in the event of a run-off between two candidates. In other words, if the ruling Conservative party MPs decide on a consensus candidate, there will be no confirmatory online vote extended to rank and file members.
The Conservatve parliamentary party set a high bar for a candidate to qualify to contest – support of at least 100 MPs. Aspirants have to throw their hats into the ring by 2 p.m. on Monday London time.
If only one candidate crosses the threshold, there will automatically be a new Prime Minister the same day. If there are more, then there will first be a vote by MPs until the list is watered down to two, before party members get a say. This process will be completed by October 28.
Realistically, there can at most be three contestants, given the minimum entry mark of 100. Conservative MPs in the House of Commons number an estimated 357.
The emergency election of a new Prime Minister was necessitated by the resignation of Liz Truss on Thursday after only 45 days in office. Truss defeated Sunak in a head-to-head in the summer.