Suitors vie to succeed Johnson as Britain’s next leader | health and fitness

By SYLVIA HUI – Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — A crowded group of suitors are battling to replace Boris Johnson as the next leader of the Conservative Party and British prime minister.

A look at the 11 people who threw their hats in the ring:

RISHI SUNAK, FORMER TREASURY CHIEF

Sunak, 42, is the best-known of the Tory leadership candidates and a favorite with bookmakers to succeed Johnson.

He became a household name after becoming Treasury chief in 2020, handing out billions of pounds to help businesses and workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

But he has been criticized for not doing enough to ease the growing cost of living crisis. His popularity also plunged after he was fined by police for attending one of the lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.

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LIZ TRUSS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY

Truss, 46, took the top cabinet post in September after serving as trade minister. She is also the UK’s chief negotiator with the European Union on post-Brexit issues.

Truss, who is popular with many Tories, said she wants to cut taxes ‘from day one’ and reverse an income tax hike.

PENNY MORDAUNT, MINISTER FOR TRADE

Mordaunt, 49, is seen by bookmakers as a party favorite to win.

She was the first woman to serve as UK Defense Secretary, although she was fired by Johnson shortly after he became Prime Minister in 2019 because she backed another candidate, Jeremy Hunt.

Mordaunt, a former reality TV contestant, played a leading role in the pro-Brexit campaign in 2016.

SAJID JAVID, FORMER HEALTH SECRETARY

Javid, 52, has extensive experience in government, having served as health secretary, head of the treasury and home secretary, as well as leading departments for business, culture and housing.

The son of a bus driver who arrived in England from Pakistan, Javid qualified for the final four in the contest to replace Theresa May as Tory leader in 2019.

NADHIM ZAHAWI, HEAD OF TREASURY

Zahawi, 55, rose to prominence as vaccine minister during the pandemic. Co-founder of market research firm YouGov, Zahawi was elected to parliament in 2010.

He was born in Iraq to a Kurdish family and came to the UK as a child when his parents fled Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

GRANT SHAPPS, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY

Shapps, 53, was a Johnson loyalist. He served as a Cabinet minister under Johnson and his predecessor David Cameron, and was co-chairman of the Conservative Party from 2012 to 2015.

Like many other contestants, he also pledged to reduce taxes.

JEREMY HUNT, FORMER CABINET MINISTER

Hunt, who served as both health and foreign secretary, ran against Johnson in the 2019 leadership race. He lost heavily and was dumped from the cabinet.

Hunt, 55, has remained a lawmaker and kept himself in the public eye by grilling the government’s pandemic policies as head of Parliament’s Select Committee on Health and Social Care.

TOM TUGENDHAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMONS FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

Tugendhat, a 48-year-old lawmaker and former soldier, has never served in government but heads the influential foreign affairs committee in parliament. He is considered a centrist and presented his candidacy as a good start.

He said he was consulting with a “broad coalition” of colleagues to bridge the divides in government.

SUELLA BRAVERMAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL

Braverman is a lawmaker and lawyer who became Attorney General of England in 2020.

A Eurosceptic and Brexiteer, Braverman, 42, says he wants to offer “all the great opportunities of Brexit” – including a tougher line on immigration and leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

KEMI BADENOCH, FORMER EQUALITY MINISTER

Badenoch, a former banker, says she wants to lower taxes and lead a “limited government focused on the essentials”.

The 42-year-old lawmaker was considered an underdog for the race, but her profile has been boosted by the endorsement of party heavyweight Michael Gove.

REHMAN CHISHTI, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Chishti, a former lawyer, is the least known of the suitors.

Born in Pakistan, he has an unusual political background, having previously been a candidate for the opposition Labor Party in the 2005 general election. The 43-year-old joined the Conservatives in 2007.

Follow all of AP’s coverage of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UK politics at https://apnews.com/hub/boris-johnson

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