Candidates are fighting to replace British Prime Minister Johnson in full force

  • Nine candidates have launched campaigns to be the next PM
  • A new leader should be in place by 5 September, says the party leader
  • Tax plans define the early stage of leadership debate

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – Competition to replace British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took off on Sunday as five candidates declared their intention to run, with many promising lower taxes and a clean start from Johnson’s scandal-ridden premiership.

Johnson said Thursday he would step down as prime minister after lawmakers and cabinet colleagues revolted over his handling of a number of scandals, including breaches of lock-in rules at rallies in his Downing Street office.

He said he would continue until a new leader was elected.

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A member of a conservative party committee that sets the rules for leadership elections said on Sunday that the final result would be announced in September.

Junior Commerce Secretary Penny Mordaunt officially announced on Sunday, along with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi and former Ministers Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid, who announced their candidacies for leadership in time for Sunday newspapers, taking the total to nine. read more

“This is a critical turning point for our country. I believe that a socialist or socialist-led coalition government in the next election would be a disaster for Britain,” Mordaunt said in a statement. “We have to win the next election.”

The Conservative Party’s law committee from 1922, which lays down rules for the party in parliament, will set up the exact timetable after a meeting on Monday.

Bob Blackman, an officer in the 1922 committee’s leadership, said the nominations would end Tuesday night, followed by a process to reduce the candidates to the last two by July 21.

Party members were to elect a new party leader during the summer, who would then become prime minister.

“We will (choose the last two) by July 21, to give party membership enough time to have husting sessions and a postal ballot and then cause a new leader to be in place by September 5,” he told Sky. News.

LOWER TAX

When Shapps, Zahawi, Hunt and Javid took part in the race, they all promised tax cuts, setting them up against the current favorite, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, whose budget last year set Britain on course for the biggest tax burden since the 1950s.

“I believe in lower taxes, lower regulation, cuts in the bureaucratic economy,” Shapps told Sky News, adding that he would hold an emergency budget to bring about a one-pence reduction in the income tax rate currently planned for 2024. Freeze a planned increase in corporate tax and look to reduce the size of the civil service.

Hunt, a former Secretary of State who finished second in the 2019 leadership contest when Johnson took office, and Javid, who twice resigned from Johnson’s government, both said they would cut corporate taxes to 15%.

Hunt said no conservative should raise taxes or offer unfunded tax cuts. Asked if tax cuts would lead to inflation, Hunt said: “I do not agree with that when it comes to corporate tax.”

“If you stimulate consumer demand, when there is a certain demand-driven inflation, it is that risk, but we have to keep inflation down. That is why I will be very careful about promising (tax) cuts that will stimulate inflation,” he said. so.

The Mail on Sunday said Secretary of State Liz Truss would launch her campaign on Monday with a promise to cut taxes and tackle the cost-of-living crisis, while one of her main rivals for the role, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, has ruled herself out. .

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Reporting by Alistair Smout; edited by Barbara Lewis and Raissa Kasolowsky

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