Retired Boris Johnson conceived a tricky combination

How the British Conservatives will look for a replacement for the outgoing leader

Boris Johnson's political resourcefulness keeps him from resigning quietly. Apparently, the politician is frantically looking for an opportunity to cling to leadership positions as long as possible. Leaving the post of leader of the Conservative Party, he still hopes to remain Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Photo: Global Look Press

Boris Johnson insists on keeping the post of head of government until the fall. But, as The Guardian predicts, it is likely to face strong resistance.

Boris Johnson's formally announced resignation on Thursday looks like a capitulation in the face of a mass exodus of cabinet members from his government. But the politician is ready to conduct tough rearguard battles. His strategy will probably be based on resigning only from the position of Tory party leader, while remaining head of government until the fall, while his fellow party members will look for a new replacement for the resigned leader.

However, it is unlikely that cabinet members and the Tory MPs will be glad of such a turn. Most likely, Johnson will be pressured to resign as soon as possible from the post of prime minister, giving way to an interim leader. Among the possible candidates are Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab or even former Prime Minister Theresa May, Johnson's predecessor.

Two unnamed former ministers said in a commentary to The Guardian that Johnson could not premier until the fall. One of them said, “He needs to leave tonight. Raab should take control.” “Today, he needs to hand over the seals of the office and leave so that we can have an interim prime minister,” argues another ex-minister.

And Johnson-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahavi, gave the prime minister a “punch of mercy” in the heart, issuing a statement calling the situation bad for everyone – for the prime minister, for the Conservative Party “and, most importantly, for the whole country”: “You must do the right thing and leave now.”

By the way, the press also names him, a 55-year-old native of Baghdad, an Iraqi Kurd by origin, as a likely contender for the role of interim prime minister of the United Kingdom.

So maybe Johnson wants to stay in the premier's chair until the fall – but will his fellow party members allow him to do it? Doubtful.

So, what should follow the resignation of Boris Johnson? First of all, a competition for leadership will be held in the Conservative Party to determine the person who will replace the departed party leader.

The Committee of Conservative MPs will set the schedule for the contest, Sky News explains. To enter the race, a Tory MP must be nominated by eight peers. If more than two deputies put forward their candidacies and receive enough nominations to run for leader, a series of secret ballots will be held to keep the number of contenders to a minimum.

The politician with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated after each round, until no two candidates left. That's when the members of the party can make their final choice. As a result, the winner will become the leader of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister.

Since this process may take several weeks, and the Conservative Party will still have a majority in the government, the Cabinet may appoint an interim Prime Minister before the party will hold a proper leadership contest to choose Johnson's permanent successor.

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