Penny Mordaunt knows no fear, of that there can be no doubt. A few years ago she was in a strange position “Splash!” A very popular TV show called Back from the ten-meter board into the water, one could almost say: splashed, belly down. Presented by British Olympic high diving champion Tom Daly at the end, the show featured many famous people who tried their hand at Daly’s discipline. Dressed in a red and white polka dot swimsuit, Mordant performed a back dive but spun a bit in the air, the impact a little less elegant than planned. It’s been eight years, but now the video is everywhere again. After all, Benny Mordant has a good chance of becoming the next British Prime Minister.
Funny videos of the British prime minister have been common in recent years, but since Boris Johnson announced his resignation, the Tories have been trying hard to stay serious. “Seriousness”, “responsibility”, “honesty” – such words are heard in practically every application text these days. The election process begins this Wednesday, with each candidate on the list needing the support of at least 20 MPs. Anyone who gets fewer than 30 votes from the current 358 Tory MPs in the first ballot will be expelled. The second round takes place on Thursday, and the last-placed driver will be eliminated.
It continues on Sundays and Mondays with TV debates, live telecast. On Monday, the candidates will face MPs in various rounds of questions in Parliament. Such rounds of questions are called “Hustings” in English, which is why this coming Monday in Westminster already has a name, called “Hustings Super Monday”.
This will be followed by further ballots before the two finalists are finally announced on Thursday next week. These will present themselves over the next two months to the party’s roughly 100,000 members, who will elect a new prime minister by September 5. In other words: this is another election campaign in the country.
Locally, the slogan is said to have been issued for Liz to stand behind Truss
Propaganda includes slogans and campaigns. On Tuesday afternoon, some candidates presented theirs, some chose simple categories, Kemi Patenok, who is considered an outsider, competes with “Kemi for Prime Minister”. Others try it with a message like Tom Tugenthat’s, whose motto is “Tom: A Clean Start.” The appearance of former finance minister Rishi Sunak, which led to Johnson’s resignation, was particularly professional and well-prepared. Sunak spoke surrounded by the “Ready for Rishi” logo, drawing constant applause from his supporters. Despite being the number one enemy of Boris Johnson’s remaining allies, he is currently the favourite. The slogan is said to have been issued to rally behind Liz Truss, the foreign secretary who was, at least publicly, loyal to Johnson at home.
Aside from Sunak and Truss, Benny Mordant is also one of the most promising candidates for the finale, “Splash!” Here or there. Mordant, the 49-year-old MP for Portsmouth North, is leading in various polls among Tory voters. She is attributed to the moderate wing of the Tories and was the country’s first female defense secretary, albeit a short-lived one. Theresa May appointed him on May 1, 2019, and Boris Johnson sacked him two and a half months later when May became Prime Minister.
Johnson, in one of his first appearances since his resignation speech, said he would not publicly endorse either candidate. “He doesn’t want to diminish anybody’s chances by speaking for him or her,” said Johnson, whose willingness to joke is rarely affected by his resignation. However, on Tuesday, the opposition strongly criticized the party’s decision to actually allow the so-called “police prime minister” to continue until September 5. Labor leader Keir Starmer confirmed he plans to table a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday to force Johnson to leave Downing Street immediately.
If a majority of the 650 MPs in Parliament actually voted against Johnson, fresh elections would result, which is unlikely. The Tories want a new prime minister, which is one of the reasons they forced Johnson to resign. But they want someone from their party.
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