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Odds not good for new UK prime minister

Andrew Hammond
Published Mon, Oct 24, 2022 · 04:07 PM

FORMER UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who won four general elections in the 1960s and 1970s, famously said that “a week is a long time in politics”.

His statement has perhaps never been truer than in October 2022 with the demise of Liz Truss’s premiership and the ‘fast track’ selection of a new prime minister. Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is the strong favourite to win following the exit on Sunday (Oct 23) of ex-prime minister Boris Johnson from the Conservative leadership contest, plus also the backing on Sunday of Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson claimed on Sunday that he had exceeded the threshold needed to get to the next round of the leadership contest, which required the backing of 100 Conservative MPs, but had concluded he should withdraw because “it would not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament...Therefore I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow nomination to go forward. I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time”.

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