Lord Michael Heseltine, a Tory biggie, was scathing in his attack on Johnson and how he has affected the Conservative Party. Talking of Johnson’s legacy, he said, “Boris is connected to one policy – Brexit. Boris goes Brexit goes. We need new leadership which will restore sanity to our relationship with Europe. It is clear Right wing-ism is a suicide course for the Tory party, Centrism needs to be restored.”
He added, “His premiership has helped trashing Britain’s international reputation and the reputation of the Tories.”
Indeed, even Boris’s resignation has been a spectacle that rolled on for weeks, with him resisting it with his Trumpian claims that he has a mandate of 14 million votes. As he goes, he will be remembered as a great communicator who got Brexit done, for his contribution to help in the Ukraine war, but who fundamentally didn’t listen and became Presidential. I would not be surprised if there will be comparisons drawn in more detail between him and Trump.
This entire saga turned into ‘Murder on The Orient Express’ with everybody having his/her hand dipped in blood, including his key supporters, such as Home Secretary Priti Patel. But now, with his exit comes the obvious question: Who will be his successor? Senior Tory leaders and both Opposition parties – Labour and Liberal Democrats – are against Johnson continuing as caretaker Prime Minister till the election of a new leader. Currently, Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, viewed in the party as having strong pro-Brexit credentials, charisma and good leadership qualities, is the favourite for succeeding Johnson.
Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who resigned earlier this week, is the second most likely candidate. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid make up the rest of the top five contenders to replace Johnson. But in a YouGov poll of Conservative party members, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is leading with 48% votes, ahead of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss with 29% votes each. It’s not over till it is not over. Things can change rapidly.
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