I wrote this blog in order to publish it into the Argus for today and then late yesterday Boris Johnson decided to remove himself from the Prime Minister prospect. So, some of these words are no longer relevant. However, the other words are relevant.
Today at 2pm there will be a very significant stage in the replacement of Liz Truss as our Nations Prime Minister who resigned last Thursday. According to the information that has been published, one or possibly two candidates will be announced providing that they have both been approved by at least 100 MPs. If two are selected as the potential next Prime Minister, the members of the Conservative Party will then select one of them as the preferred Prime Minister by Friday. Given that there is only just over 350 Conservative MPs it is very challenging for two people to obtain 100 or more supporters. Along with that challenge there have been some significant calls recently that the members of the Party should not be included in the process to select who is appointed as the Prime Minister. Clearly if only one MP gains over 100 supporters, then today the new Prime Minister will be determined by the MPs rather than by the Party members. Let us hope that the person or the two people that get announced this afternoon will both have learned from their previous Prime Minister who stated that “I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.” Given that some people have suggested that Boris Johnson will be one of the possible candidates most of us can recall that he certainly did not deliver the mandate on which his Party had set out on a number of themes. If the parliament members do get to select two potential people and if that includes Johnson, the party members should reflect on the mandate issue and they will hopefully reject Johnson. Indeed, when one or two candidates are emerged today at 2pm and if one is Boris Johnson, then the MPs who select him will have failed to deliver their mandate yet again.
Along with the challenge of what is happening today and what may get completed on Friday many of us are also concerned about the process that the Conservative Party adopted back in July. When Boris Johnson finally resigned after many months of his dishonesty and his mistakes he then remained as the PM for another six weeks. The process that the MPs adopted at the beginning of his replacement took a lot longer than the five days which they have experienced since Thursday. There was also a much wider range of initial potential candidates as initially they only needed about 20 supporters to get listed. After many more days the MPs had set out two candidates, one of which has now become the shortest Prime Minister in our Nation, but both were then moved to the next stage. During a period of over a month, the members of the party were all able to meet them and they both set out their proposals and their plans which contained a significant aspect. The same party members if they are allowed to select a candidate at all, will have to do so in less than a week and there will be very limited communications. If we reflect on how long each of us get to make a decision on electing a Member of Parliament at an election, less than a week is far too short. Of course, it was also less than a week for all of the MPs too determine as well. The ideal approach would be for the Deputy Prime Minister who is currently Therese Coffey to act as Prime Minister while a more effective process could take place. However tragically Boris Johnson resigned and then remained as our Prime Minister for more than a month, rather than handing the Government agency over to his Deputy Prime Minister.
As well as reflecting on how the Conservatives will determine their third Prime Minister for 2022, it is clear that some of the actions that Johnson and Truss dealt with have had a major challenge on our Nation. One possibility is for a General Election which understandably most of the other political groups called for last week. The challenge is that it takes time to organise and given that we are close to November, it would probably not happen until well into 2023. In any event the Conservatives do not currently wish to introduce it. So given that our Nation needs a great deal of assistance to protect most of our residents let us hope that the next Prime Minister will be willing to engage with the other political groups. Let us hope that all of the political groups are willing to work hard together to improve our Nation in the short term. They can then pick up on their initial responses and arrange for a General Election next May that will enable us to vote when the pressure is less significant.