Former Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak has clearly taken the lead in the race for Boris Johnson’s succession, especially after the unexpected withdrawal of Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who came to appear as the favorite candidate among “Tory” militants. “.

Sunak launched his campaign with much fanfare on Friday night, while Wallace stood out with his own announcement at noon on Saturday: “After long consideration with my family and colleagues, I have decided not to enter the competition for the conservative leadership. It was not an easy choice, but I prefer to focus on my work and ensure the security of this country.

All the spotlights are therefore on Sunak, the second to leave Boris Johnson’s ship, just after Sajid Javid, although the former Treasury secretary was actually ahead of everyone. The first Internet portal of “Ready for Rishi” had been registered since December, although his campaign has officially denied it. Sunak also leads the field of “Tory” candidates with the work in the shadow of his own team in recent months, according to The Daily Mail.

His personal revenge was consummated this week not so much by the Chris Pincher sex scandal, but by his refusal to support a corporate tax cut that the “premier” wanted to announce to win back popular favor. Fiscal policy had built an almost insurmountable wall between the two, and those frictions had dynamited the Johnson Government’s actions in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, the issue that most worries the British.

Sunak, 42, the son of Indian immigrants, a privileged student at Oxford and Stanford, trained as a banker at Goldman Sachs, was ultimately the third candidate to run for succession (after Suella Braverman and Tom Tugendhat), although his presentation video Johnson’s predictable fall had been ready for a long time…

“Do we face this moment with seriousness, honesty or determination, or are we content with fairy tales that may make us feel better in the moment but leave our children worse off in the future? Someone has to control the situation right now and take action.” the right decisions. This is why I am running for Conservative Leader and Prime Minister.”

Methodical, calculating and an early riser, propelled by his daily appointment with the exercise bike, father of two daughters and impeccable in his private life… Sunak rose whole as the living antithesis of Johnson and put the British in his pocket with his popular rescue measures during Covid.

But in this inflation hit and the Government did not react in time. And someone leaked to the press the news that his billionaire wife Akshata Murthy (daughter of Indian tech tycoon Narayana Murthy) had taken “non-resident” status to avoid paying taxes on British soil. And Sunak’s own finances (ranked 222nd on the Sunday Times UK’s richest list) were called into question.

In just six months he went from being among the three best valued ministers, to the three worst considered, along with Johnson himself and Interior Secretary Priti Patel. His star was fading and the confrontations with the “premier” on account of economic policy and under the clouds of the recession were becoming more and more evident.

But who hits first, hits twice. The Ready4Rishi portal was officially launched 14 hours before Johnson’s resignation. And the effect has been sudden: an Opinium poll for Channel 4 gives him today as the favorite among “Tory” voters, with 25% of the preferences, compared to 21% of the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss .

Taking advantage of the initial impetus, Sunak has tried to convince Sajid Javid, who has also resigned, to give up presenting his own candidacy and embark on the new journey together. Javid has apparently declined the offer and may make his decision to run public over the weekend.

It is estimated that up to 15 applicants could present their candidacies and participate in successive rounds. The “Tory” deputies will vote between now and July 21 until leaving the final list between the two most popular. The 200,000 Conservative militants will then have the last word and will choose their new leader and the future tenant of Downing Street throughout the summer and in time for the new sessions of Parliament on September 5.

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