Written by Prakriti Panwar, a first-year undergraduate student
Boris Johnson and his resignation
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party resigned from the cabinet, after serving as the PM of the United Kingdom for three years.
One of the main reasons for this resignation was, what’s now called the ‘partygate scandal.’. It was when Johnson broke Covid lockdown rules by attending parties and gatherings at Downing Street, his own official residence.
In November 2021, news about UK officials not adhering to the lockdown rules spread. More than 12 such parties/gatherings are said to have taken place. There were several other scandals that built up to Boris Johnson’s resignation as well.
Though Boris Johnson has resigned, he will remain in office as Prime Minister until a replacement is found.
However, elections for a new party leader for the Conservative Party are going to take place.
Who all are the candidates?
Some of the contenders for Johnson’s replacement are Kemi Bedenoch, Suella Braverman, Rehman Chishti, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Penny Mordaunt, Priti Patel, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tughendhat, Nadhim Zahawahi
Out of all the candidates, Rishi Sunak (Former Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Penny Mordaunt (Minister of State) are emerging as “favorites.”
About Rishi Sunak: The Indian-origin PM candidate
Sunak was born to Indian-origin parents in the UK. His mother ran a local pharmacy while his father was a general practitioner at the National Health Service (NHS).
His Indian grandparents first moved to East Africa, and then migrated to the UK, taking up various administrative jobs. Rishi Sunak often points out that he was privileged to get the opportunity to study at places like Oxford and Stanford, and he wishes to provide such opportunities to the people of the UK as well.
Sunak is currently married to Akshata Murthy, daughter of Narayan Murthy (founder and CEO of Infosys)
While Sunak seems to stand out as a perfect candidate, he did receive criticism during his tenure as Chancellor (Finance Minister). He was criticized for not giving “enough financial support” to households during the pandemic. During his tenure, the UK also faced its highest rate of inflation in 40 years.
In contrast to focusing on tax cuts like most other candidates, Rishi Sunak plans on thinking about it only once public finances improve. He aims at “restoring trust, rebuilding the economy, and reuniting the country.”
Sunak also played a key role in Boris Johnson’s resignation when a series of resignations began with two senior leaders, one of them being Sunak. He left the cabinet when Johnson refused to leave.
While Sunak seems to stand out as a perfect candidate, he did receive criticism during his tenure as Chancellor. He was criticized for not giving “enough financial support” to households during the pandemic. During his tenure, the UK also faced its highest rate of inflation in 40 years.