Rishi Sunak, the wealthiest MP in the British Parliament, has today officially become prime minister. After months of chaos and scandal, his task will be to steady the Tory ship. Expect more austerity as the Conservative Party continues to unravel.
Phil Burton-Cartledge is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Derby and the author of Falling Down: The Conservative Party and the Decline of Tory Britain.
Tory members this week elected Liz Truss as Britain’s new prime minister. Arriving to office amid a cost-of-living crisis, Truss’s self-styled Thatcherism promises to only deepen the country’s woes.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are vying to become the fourth Conservative leader since 2016. Neither candidate has any real answers to Britain’s problems — or even the dilemmas facing their own party.
Last week’s election performance by the British Labour Party was deeply underwhelming. Despite enjoying every advantage, Keir Starmer has failed to convert a popular backlash against Boris Johnson’s government into support for his own plodding leadership.
Boris Johnson has always been a liar and a hypocrite, but he was British elites’ liar and hypocrite. As he sinks deeper and deeper into a COVID-related scandal, those same elites may have lost their use for Boris.
The approach that delivered electoral success for the UK’s Tories over the last decade is starting to run out of road. But for now, the Conservatives are lucky to have an ineffectual Labour opposition that’s afraid to criticize their pandemic response.
Britain’s Conservative Party used Brexit to cut a swathe through Labour’s electoral heartlands. But don’t be fooled by their last-minute populist makeover: the Tories are the same as ever — they’re not the party of the working class.
They may win next week’s general election, but in Great Britain the Tories are struggling to win over anyone under the age of 45. And younger generations don’t seem to be going Conservative as they get older. The Conservative Party has a serious problem.