After constant pressure from his party and a mass exit from his government, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned after all. The race for his successor has now begun.
However, we haven’t gotten rid of it yet, says Rem Kortewig, a UK expert associated with the Clingendael Institute in news hour. “His role is not over yet. He will remain as prime minister for a while and will keep the door open with a focus on the future.”
Johnson himself has already said he wants to take his seat in Parliament again. Korteweg would not be surprised if he eventually wants to run for prime minister again, which he called “the best job in the world” in his departure speech. “His great example, Winston Churchill, was also obliged to leave, but later returned as Prime Minister.”
There is a lot of resistance within his party against this scenario. Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major asks in a letter to the party to distract Johnson as soon as possible. His stay would be very damaging to the party’s reputation.
Whoever succeeds him will not be as talented and attractive in the political arena as Boris Johnson.
But finding a successor will not be easy. “Whoever succeeds him will not be as talented and attractive in the political arena as Boris Johnson,” said John Curtis, a political scientist who specializes in electoral behavior.
He believes that Johnson’s successor will not alter the political trajectory of the Conservatives, but will primarily insist on the moral standard within the party. His successor will swear that Boris Johnson’s behavior is the exception.”
Despite Johnson’s scandals and lies, it remains to be seen whether his successor will gain the same amount of followers, Curtis says. “He instilled confidence in entire groups who were skeptical of politics by delivering on the promise of Brexit.”
This has resulted in many Conservative voters emerging in areas where they typically do not score well, such as northern England. So Rem Kortwig believes that it will be difficult to choose a new leader who is well received by many voters. “It is not for nothing that he has a Heineken-Tory.” By that they mean everyone will give him a thumbs up.
Flor Lunsbach, UK correspondent, We expect a lot of battle for the leadership of the Conservative Party in the coming weeks. The list of contenders is long and the party is divided.
According to Rem Korteweg, there are three schools of thought. “The people who remained faithful to the other, the group around Johnson who had turned their backs on him in recent days, and the people who had never seen that in him.”
Johnson misses the press
No matter where Johnson’s successor comes from, neither Curtis and Curtegwig expect a political meltdown when it comes to short-term foreign policy. Korteweg: “The attitude towards the European Union will not change, as well as the hard-line attitude towards Russia.”
There is a debate going on locally about tax cuts, says Lunsbash, and there is also the question of whether Scotland should become independent. It is still difficult to estimate the party’s eventual course, Curtis says.
Also, what role Johnson will have, remains uncertain. But if not as a politician, then perhaps as an opinion-maker, says Lunsbach. Johnson was once a journalist and opinion maker. He has sometimes stated that he misses that, too.
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