As pressure mounts against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson not only from the opposition but also from his Conservative Party members over the ‘Partygate’ saga, several local media reports have claimed that his Indian-origin chancellor Rishi Sunak will replace him.
The 57-year-old crisis-ridden PM has been facing public wrath ever since he admitted to hosting and attending a ‘bring your wine’ party at 10 Downing Street when the 2020 UK lockdown was lifted in the wake of the Covid virus.
There is a growing demand for Johnson’s immediate resignation. Several Tory lawmakers have publicly expressed Johnson’s inability to deal with the crisis and called for his resignation.
Lawmakers are currently waiting for senior civil servant Sue Grey to finish the investigation report before deciding on Johnson’s fate.
Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, a former Foreign Office minister, said Johnson had to demonstrate within days that he could end the chaos for good and displayed a new kind of leadership.
“But if he tries to get his way out of an important report, he will lose my support,” he told the Guardian.
Tim Lawton, Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, wrote on Twitter: “I’m sorry that the position of Boris Johnson is now untenable, that his resignation is the only way to end this entire unfortunate episode, and that I take that idea at No. 10.” Working with coworkers to impress.
Rishi Sunak’s name has been in the news ever since the ‘Partygate’ saga came to the fore.
A leading UK bookmaker – Betfair – has lowered its odds against Johnson in favor of Finance Minister Sunak to make the move at 10 Downing Street.
“In terms of a replacement, long-time favorite Rishi Sunak still leads the betting on 15/8, with (Foreign Secretary) Liz Truss on 11/4 and (Cabinet Minister) Michael Gove on 6/1 as the next two most likely Option should PM vacate number 10,” Betfair’s Sam Rosbottom told ‘Wales Online.
Furthermore, when Johnson issued his apology on Wednesday, his conspicuous absence from the House of Commons chamber was seen by many as reflective of his own leadership ambitions.
Sunak, who was on a business trip, tweeted much later in the evening that “the Prime Minister was right to apologise and I support his request for patience while Sue Gray continues her investigation”.
As the BBC reports, some British newspapers have interpreted the timing and content of Sunak’s message of support as lukewarm support for his boss and neighbor in Downing Street.
Who is Rishi Sunak?
The UK-born Sunak is the son of a pharmacist mother and a National Health Service (NHS) general practitioner (GP) father. He is a graduate of Oxford University and Stanford.
He is married to Akshata Murthy, daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, and the couple has two younger daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.
The MP from Richmond in Yorkshire first entered the UK parliament in 2015 and has risen rapidly in the ranks of the Tory party as a staunch Brexiteer who supported Johnson’s strategy to leave the European Union (EU).