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Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss?

Today, Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, and Liz Truss, a current foreign minister, were chosen as the last two contenders for the position of British prime minister by Conservative parliamentarians in Britain.

Following Boris Johnson’s departure earlier this month, a wide range of party members have been competing over the past three weeks for the position of party leader, with eight contenders being unveiled on July 12. Since then, after Penny Mordaunt, the final front-runner, was ousted earlier today, the field has been down to only two contenders following numerous voting rounds, contentious television debates, and a lot of behind-the-scenes lobbying.

A final vote will be held over the following six weeks from a larger ballot of 180,000 rank-and-file Conservative members, with the results being made public on September 5. Here is all you need to know about the two candidates up until then, including who appears to have the best chance of becoming prime minister in the fall.

Table of Contents

Rishi Sunak

Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss?

Though initially seen as Johnson’s natural successor, Sunak’s path to the top appeared to be a little more difficult after he resigned from his position as chancellor of the exchequer in early July before many of his other colleagues did. This position was one of the highest in the U.K. government and involved overseeing all economic and financial affairs. (Many people viewed Sunak’s departure, along with that of former health secretary Sajid Javid, as a critical turning point in Johnson’s downfall.)

At 42 years old, Sunak would be the nation’s first South Asian leader and its youngest in more than 200 years if he were to win the election. Although Sunak attended the prestigious all-boys boarding school Winchester College and later Oxford University before earning an MBA at Stanford University, much has been made of his privileged upbringing. Sunak later had a successful first career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and other companies, and his wife, heiress Akshata Murty, is among the richest women in Britain.

After being chosen in 2015 to represent Richmond, Yorkshire, as a member of parliament, Sunak first held a number of junior ministerial positions. Sunak, who had been a vocal supporter of Johnson when he was elected prime minister in 2019, was named chief secretary to the treasury and then chancellor in February 2020. Despite his steadfast support for low taxes, the pandemic’s troubles led to an increase in his popularity as he introduced a number of programs and furlough packages for firms and employees to support the economy. Sunak was involved in the “partygate” scandal that led to Johnson’s downfall, but his relatively small role allowed him to avoid major publicity; instead, the scandal that broke earlier this year when it was discovered that Murty had not paid U.K. tax on her foreign income posed a greater threat to his reputation.

ALSO READ: Jack Manifold Controversy: What Actions Took Jack Manifold? Nihachu Dating Rumors And The Misogynist Controversy – Tassco 

Sunak was the early front-runner to take over after Johnson resigned, both to signal a more dramatic departure from Johnson’s previous administration and because he had portrayed himself as a more mature, reasonable leader in the mold of his hero Margaret Thatcher. However, considering the present cost of living issue in the U.K. that developed during his time as finance minister, Sunak’s opponents have condemned both his projected economic policy and his dishonesty in turning against Johnson.

Even while Sunak continues to be the favorite among Conservative parliamentarians, gaining the support of the party may be a quite different obstacle.

Liz Truss

Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss?

The origin tale of Liz Truss is very dissimilar from Sunak’s. She was raised by adamantly left-wing parents in northern England and went to a state school in Leeds. Despite following the same course of study for her undergraduate degree as the majority of senior Conservatives—politics, philosophy, and economics—Truss was a member of the Liberal Democrat party at the time, switching to the Conservative party in 1996. After a brief stint as a management accountant, Truss was initially chosen to represent South West Norfolk in parliament in 2010. He then held a number of ministerial positions under the administrations of David Cameron and Theresa May.

She backed “remain” before the Brexit referendum but shifted sides once the result was announced, speaking out in favor of both the potential trade benefits of Brexit and Boris Johnson during his 2019 prime ministerial campaign. She was appointed to the position of foreign secretary in 2021 after serving first as the international trade secretary. During this time, she has drawn praise for her firm stance against Russia during the invasion of Ukraine and criticism for applying a similar steely strategy to talks with the European Union about post-Brexit trade arrangements. Many see Truss as symbolizing a continuation of Johnson’s style of governance because she is still acting as Boris Johnson’s foreign secretary until Britain’s next leader is chosen, for better or worse.

ALSO READ: 988 Controversy: Long wait times and inadequate funding are criticised for America’s new mental health crisis hotline 

Whereas Sunak has frequently cited Thatcher as an inspiration, Truss has taken her efforts to align herself with the Iron Lady a step further. Last year, when she visited British troops in Estonia, she essentially recreated the iconic photo of Thatcher meeting troops in a British Army tank in West Germany in 1986, and this week, during the leadership debates, she wore a pussy bow blouse that specifically referenced Thatcher. (In fact, some people have thought that these homages are a touch too obvious.)

Some have perceived Truss’s hawkish foreign policy stance—she pledges to increase defense spending—and fierce, Thatcher-like dogmatism regarding tax cuts as appealing to the wider Conservative party. Nevertheless, a challenge for Truss remains her propensity for slip-ups and occasionally awkward public speaking. (Over the past several days, a much-parodied speech from 2014 concerning imported cheese has gained new traction on Twitter.)

Although Truss is now polling ahead of Sunak among the party’s more general membership due to her favor with the right-wing element of the party, there is still plenty of time before September for voters to turn their attention to Sunak’s polished campaign.

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Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss?

Today, Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, and Liz Truss, a current foreign minister, were chosen as the last two contenders for the position of British prime minister by Conservative parliamentarians in Britain.

Following Boris Johnson’s departure earlier this month, a wide range of party members have been competing over the past three weeks for the position of party leader, with eight contenders being unveiled on July 12. Since then, after Penny Mordaunt, the final front-runner, was ousted earlier today, the field has been down to only two contenders following numerous voting rounds, contentious television debates, and a lot of behind-the-scenes lobbying.

A final vote will be held over the following six weeks from a larger ballot of 180,000 rank-and-file Conservative members, with the results being made public on September 5. Here is all you need to know about the two candidates up until then, including who appears to have the best chance of becoming prime minister in the fall.

Table of Contents

Rishi Sunak

Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss?

Though initially seen as Johnson’s natural successor, Sunak’s path to the top appeared to be a little more difficult after he resigned from his position as chancellor of the exchequer in early July before many of his other colleagues did. This position was one of the highest in the U.K. government and involved overseeing all economic and financial affairs. (Many people viewed Sunak’s departure, along with that of former health secretary Sajid Javid, as a critical turning point in Johnson’s downfall.)

At 42 years old, Sunak would be the nation’s first South Asian leader and its youngest in more than 200 years if he were to win the election. Although Sunak attended the prestigious all-boys boarding school Winchester College and later Oxford University before earning an MBA at Stanford University, much has been made of his privileged upbringing. Sunak later had a successful first career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and other companies, and his wife, heiress Akshata Murty, is among the richest women in Britain.

After being chosen in 2015 to represent Richmond, Yorkshire, as a member of parliament, Sunak first held a number of junior ministerial positions. Sunak, who had been a vocal supporter of Johnson when he was elected prime minister in 2019, was named chief secretary to the treasury and then chancellor in February 2020. Despite his steadfast support for low taxes, the pandemic’s troubles led to an increase in his popularity as he introduced a number of programs and furlough packages for firms and employees to support the economy. Sunak was involved in the “partygate” scandal that led to Johnson’s downfall, but his relatively small role allowed him to avoid major publicity; instead, the scandal that broke earlier this year when it was discovered that Murty had not paid U.K. tax on her foreign income posed a greater threat to his reputation.

ALSO READ: Jack Manifold Controversy: What Actions Took Jack Manifold? Nihachu Dating Rumors And The Misogynist Controversy – Tassco 

Sunak was the early front-runner to take over after Johnson resigned, both to signal a more dramatic departure from Johnson’s previous administration and because he had portrayed himself as a more mature, reasonable leader in the mold of his hero Margaret Thatcher. However, considering the present cost of living issue in the U.K. that developed during his time as finance minister, Sunak’s opponents have condemned both his projected economic policy and his dishonesty in turning against Johnson.

Even while Sunak continues to be the favorite among Conservative parliamentarians, gaining the support of the party may be a quite different obstacle.

Liz Truss

Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss?

The origin tale of Liz Truss is very dissimilar from Sunak’s. She was raised by adamantly left-wing parents in northern England and went to a state school in Leeds. Despite following the same course of study for her undergraduate degree as the majority of senior Conservatives—politics, philosophy, and economics—Truss was a member of the Liberal Democrat party at the time, switching to the Conservative party in 1996. After a brief stint as a management accountant, Truss was initially chosen to represent South West Norfolk in parliament in 2010. He then held a number of ministerial positions under the administrations of David Cameron and Theresa May.

She backed “remain” before the Brexit referendum but shifted sides once the result was announced, speaking out in favor of both the potential trade benefits of Brexit and Boris Johnson during his 2019 prime ministerial campaign. She was appointed to the position of foreign secretary in 2021 after serving first as the international trade secretary. During this time, she has drawn praise for her firm stance against Russia during the invasion of Ukraine and criticism for applying a similar steely strategy to talks with the European Union about post-Brexit trade arrangements. Many see Truss as symbolizing a continuation of Johnson’s style of governance because she is still acting as Boris Johnson’s foreign secretary until Britain’s next leader is chosen, for better or worse.

ALSO READ: 988 Controversy: Long wait times and inadequate funding are criticised for America’s new mental health crisis hotline 

Whereas Sunak has frequently cited Thatcher as an inspiration, Truss has taken her efforts to align herself with the Iron Lady a step further. Last year, when she visited British troops in Estonia, she essentially recreated the iconic photo of Thatcher meeting troops in a British Army tank in West Germany in 1986, and this week, during the leadership debates, she wore a pussy bow blouse that specifically referenced Thatcher. (In fact, some people have thought that these homages are a touch too obvious.)

Some have perceived Truss’s hawkish foreign policy stance—she pledges to increase defense spending—and fierce, Thatcher-like dogmatism regarding tax cuts as appealing to the wider Conservative party. Nevertheless, a challenge for Truss remains her propensity for slip-ups and occasionally awkward public speaking. (Over the past several days, a much-parodied speech from 2014 concerning imported cheese has gained new traction on Twitter.)

Although Truss is now polling ahead of Sunak among the party’s more general membership due to her favor with the right-wing element of the party, there is still plenty of time before September for voters to turn their attention to Sunak’s polished campaign.

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