WE NOW know for sure that Boris Johnson’s days as Prime Minister are coming to an end.
It won’t come as soon as the Official Opposition would like – Labor and other non-Tory MPs would much rather his departure date had passed by now – but in early September we will have a new Tory MP who can jump straight to the 10 Downing Street as the new PM.
The candidates for the new Tory leader were narrowed down to two – MP Rishi Sunak and MP Liz Truss – who wasted no time publicly tearing each other apart in TV and radio appearances.
The collective responsibility expected of Cabinet members has been so sidelined that the average viewer might conclude that these two Conservative Party colleagues really don’t like each other very much. And you couldn’t be blamed for concluding that they don’t agree on much in terms of policy, either.
So what will happen in the next few weeks before the next Prime Minister is chosen? What is certain is that the voters of Ellesmere Port and Neston, or any other voter in the country, will not have a say. There will be no general election.
The new Tory leader, who will automatically become the next Prime Minister, will instead be chosen by around 170,000 people who are paying members of the Conservative Party and all the evidence shows that they are, for the most part, men of middle and old. who live in the south of England.
The two election candidates faced off on BBC One on Monday night in a Our Next Prime Minister broadcast to an audience of 80-100 people in Stoke-on-Trent. If you missed that clash, you’ll have another chance to see them perform on Sky News on Thursday August 4.
The programs are part of a six-week competition aimed at enticing Conservative membership cardholders who will receive their ballots from August 1 before casting their ballots by September 2.
Ahead of the all-important vote, the two men will travel across the country to make their case to the party base. They will participate in a dozen forums. Then the new Prime Minister will finally be appointed on September 5th.
So far, election candidates have locked sharp horns on their approach to tax cuts with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss promising immediate tax cuts if she succeeds while Rishi Sunak, until her resignation , Chancellor of the Exchequer in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet has declared the promise of tax cuts, desirable as they are, are ‘fairy tales’ at a time when the country’s economic outlook is so bleak.
At the time of writing, there has been very little mention of other critical issues such as the dire state of the National Health Service and, as I mentioned last week, how we frame our response to the pressing challenge of the currency climate.