The week-long election campaign to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is over. The deadline for members of the Conservative Party to cast their ballots ended on Friday afternoon. They had the choice between Foreign Minister Liz Truss and ex-Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. The Tories want to announce the result on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday Queen Elizabeth II is to receive and officially appoint the winner at her country estate, Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Polls see the 47-year-old Truss clearly in the lead.
The incumbent Prime Minister Johnson announced his resignation at the beginning of July after considerable pressure from his party. Dozens of party members had resigned from their government posts in protest at his leadership. As a result, a number of prominent MPs stood for election. Truss and Sunak prevailed in several ballots in the Tory parliamentary group. The final decision was then up to the party members, of which it is estimated that there are up to 200,000. The party does not provide any information on this.
New problems for Johnson?
Johnson just unintentionally misinformed Parliament, said David Pannick. If such misconduct were to be vigorously investigated, it would have a chilling effect on the way government officials answered MPs' questions. Parliamentarians reacted indignantly. According to commentators, Johnson is concerned with leaving with a clean slate and appearing unencumbered in a possible comeback.
The committee is to look into whether Johnson lied to Parliament over the Downing Street lockdown party affair. The 58-year-old could be summoned to do this in the fall. Should members conclude that Johnson deliberately lied, he could be suspended or even lose his seat as MP.
Contrary to the current Corona rules, government employees had celebrated several times in official buildings with alcohol and music during the pandemic. Johnson, who was fined for attending an event, initially denied there had been any parties. Only under the pressure of more and more new media reports did he gradually admit the celebrations. According to his own statement, he was not informed about the events.
The Partygate affair and Johnson's handling of it, among other scandals, is considered one of the main reasons why the prime minister lost the backing of his cabinet, which ultimately left him with no other option than to resign from his post.