The question of who becomes next British Prime Minister is currently blowing in the wind.
However, there is no doubt that by tomorrow evening – Tuesday 23rd July 2019 – the new PM would have emerged.
Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt will be named as the new United Kingdom Prime Minister Tuesday evening.
Voting has been ongoing within the Conservative Party – or the Tories are they are popularly called – and the 160,000 party members have been deciding who will be their party leader, and who, according to the country’s Parliamentary System, will automatically become the PM.
The final deadline for party members to vote was yesterday, Sunday 21st July.
Why will only 160,000 people or 0.2% of UK’s 67 million population choose who becomes the country’s Prime Minister?
As explained by CNN: “That’s because in the UK, when a prime minister quits — as Theresa May did over Brexit — there isn’t necessarily a general election. In the country’s parliamentary system, the PM is typically the head of the largest party in parliament. If there’s a personnel change at the top of the ruling party, the new party leader pretty much automatically gets the keys to 10 Downing Street”.
Very simple process, right?
To the outsider, yes. But a lot of politicking, back biting and intrigues go on within the party as we have witnessed since May 2019 when Theresa May resigned as party leader and PM due to her failure to push through her Brexit plans.
After all the party primary elections, the two front runners that were thrown up were former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. So it is a clear battle royale between two foreign policy affairs politicians. Many polls seem to say that Boris Johnson’s lead over Jeremy Hunt looks unassailable. But many politicians are not easily fooled by polls as anything can still happen. Boris who is a Donald Trump look-alike also seems to favour the American President in many ways, in terms of position on international issues and can also be controversially populist in his ideas. Jeremy, on the other hand is a British’s British man with full conservative views on world affairs, although he has also been vocal on a couple of issues where Boris Johnson had sat on the fence – like the Iran nuclear deal and Ambassador Kim’s email expose.
What are the basic profiles of these two men vying for the leadership of Nigeria’s colonial master?
Jeremy Richard Hunt was born 1st November 1966 and is currently serving as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – position he has held since last year when his current opponent for British Conservative Party leadership position stepped down from that position. He has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Surrey since 2005.
Alexander Boris Johnson – born 19th June 1964 – is a renowned politician, journalist and popular historian who has been the Member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015, having been the MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008. He was popular as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, and served as Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018.
Many analysts think that Johnson and Hunt are bidding for an unenviable job as British PM, especially with the reason that the immediate occupant of the post left still the main topic for the change in leadership – Britain’s departure from the European Union. Their campaigns have centred on the Brexit project and how to smoothly get the UK out of Europe. There is no doubt that in spite of their promises, whoever wins will still have a problem securing a new Brexit deal and also to convince enough lawmakers in the House of Commons to vote the deal. Meanwhile, there are still many citizens who are now convinced that Brexit was an error and are clamouring for another referendum, while the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn think they can do much better than the Tories have done on the Brexit or no Brexit matter.
So the incoming occupant of 10 Downing Street has his work cut out for him. Both Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson claim they can achieve a smooth Brexit before the new deadline of 31st October 2019, what their predecessor Theresa May could not achieve in three years.
We can only wish them well.
Image credits: greatbritishmag.co.uk, bbc.com, freerangestock.com
Epa Ogie Eboigbe, veteran journalist, broadcaster and public affairs specialist writes and analyses current and historical issues with a ‘wise pen’.