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Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Election Result LIVE

Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak? As UK gets a new PM, here’s what will happen

The result of the contest will be announced at 12.30 pm BST (5 pm in India) on Sept 5. The Queen will make the formal appointment in Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Sept 6.

A Sunak-Truss muralA new mural showing the two Conservative leadership contestants Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss appears on a wall in Belfast City Centre, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. After weeks of waiting, Britain will finally learn who will be its new prime minister. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)

The United Kingdom will have a new Prime Minister on Monday, September 5. It could be Indian-origin Rishi Sunak, 42, the former chancellor of the exchequer (finance minister) who dumped Boris Johnson at the very end of the former Prime Minister’s tenure. But if projections in the British media are to be trusted, it will more likely be Liz Truss, 47, secretary of state for foreign, commonwealth, and development affairs, (foreign minister) who visited India at the end of March this year.

When will we know who among Truss and Sunak has made it?

The result of the contest will be announced at 12.30 pm BST (5 pm in India) on Monday. The announcement will be made by Sir Graham Brady, who is the chair of the 1922 committee, consisting of all Conservative party backbenchers in Parliament. A “backbencher” in the UK is a “rank and file” MP who does not occupy a position in government, nor is an official spokesperson of the opposition.

This situation can theoretically change if either Sunak or Truss concede the race before the announcement. This happened in July 2016 when Andrea Leadsom forfeited the contest, leaving the way clear for Theresa May to become Prime Minister, but this seems unlikely to happen on Monday.

How did it come down to Truss vs Sunak?

The process of electing the new leader of the Conservatives — the new PM — started after Boris Johnson was forced out of power by a massive revolt in his party that capped his turbulent and scandal-hit three-year tenure. There were 11 contenders in the field, and the contest was whittled down to Sunak vs Truss following a series of Tory MP votes. Sunak led in all of these internal elections.

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Thereafter, the fate of the two contenders passed into the hands of Conservative Party members around the United Kingdom. Their exact number is not known, and The Guardian reported that about 150,000 were registered and eligible to vote in the last leadership election in 2019, their numbers could now be between 180,000 and 200,000 — which would make this group about 0.3% of the population.

The Guardian quoted research from the Mile End Institute at the Queen Mary University of London that suggests 44% of the Tory membership is over 65, 97% are white, and 54% live in London and the south of England.

What will happen after the result is announced?

The formal handover of power from Johnson to his successor will take place on Tuesday, September 6. Whoever wins the contest will travel to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where Queen Elizabeth spends her summers. It is there that the 96-year-old monarch will appoint the new PM — a change of venue from the usual at Buckingham Palace in London. She will not be able to travel to the capital for the ceremony.

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Following the appointment, the new Prime Minister will fly back to London, and deliver a speech outside 10 Downing Street. This is expected late in the evening India time on Tuesday. The new PM will appoint a Cabinet and make his/ her first appearance in the House of Commons on Wednesday morning.

What will Boris Johnson do?

Johnson is expected to make a farewell speech outside Number 10 on Tuesday morning before travelling to Scotland to hand in his resignation to the Queen, which could happen around noon.

First published on: 05-09-2022 at 12:59:51 pm
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