There are eight leadership/Prime Ministerial candidates up for election to make it to the final two for election as leader and Prime Minister on 5 September. We take a local at them from a Global Britain perspective.
Rishi Sunak first out of the starting box using the slogan “ReadyforRishi” is campaigning to restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country. The self-branded pro-Brexit fiscally responsible candidate has, so far, the most numerous MPs behind his bid and wants Britain to be a global hub for cryptocurrencies. Sunak was praised for his spending to support society during the pandemic but during his time as Chancellor spending and taxes went up, as PM he is pledging to reduce taxes and champion women’s rights. Sunak is a globalist but has not opined about current geopolitical issues.
Suella Braverman, former Attorney General and former Brexit Minister and avid Brexiteer is pledging to get Britain out of the ECHR and restore total sovereignty to Britain. “Suella4Leader” is the champion of the Brexit Freedoms Bill which removes the special status and supremacy of EU law within the UK legal system, she supports sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda. Braverman is keen to improve the supply of social services to get folks back to work and take the pressure of the NHS.
Tom Tugendhat promotes the learning and speaking of multiple languages, German, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French, Persian; he believes education is an important export from the UK and an essential part of Global Britain and that Latin and Sanskrit are important academic bases. “Time for Tugendhat” is originally a Remainer, and few backbenchers are as well-known as Tugendhat, his forensic scrutiny on Select Committees is well reported, he is not afraid to take on the issues of today such as the rising threat of CCP China and revisionist Russia. A former army major and Territorial Army lieutenant colonel his interests for Britain are global, Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific, he commits to spending 3% on defence. This candidate is focussed on government teamwork.
Penny Mordaunt, former Defence Secretary and Trade Minister, patriot, Royal Navy Reservist, and social liberal, is another free trade committed Brexiteer, she is a believer in referenda. Campaigning under “PM4PM” has made contributions to recent trade deals, and is campaigning on the conservative values of freedom, fairness, courage and compassion, how these qualities and teamwork are important in a leader and the future of a global Britain; Mordaunt is focussed on unity, prosperity and security; she wants to position UK as a global force for good in competitive economic environment, Mordaunt will immediately introduce a 50% cut in fuel duty.
Liz Truss, and her admiration of Margaret Thatcher is no secret, and her Network of Liberty echoes the Iron Lady, Truss is now committed to leaving the ECHR. “Liz for Leader” is Remainer turned Brexiteer as Foreign Secretary she has been well placed to promote Global Britain and take in how UK is viewed around the world. Truss has a Conservative vision and talks tough on adversaries and as PM she says she can deliver, her work in the Treasury and as Trade Secretary gives her relevant experience. Truss plans to act immediately cutting taxes and focussing on the private sector, she understands folks do not want government running their lives and spending more of their money than necessary. She is determined she can deliver her vision for keeping Britain Global.
Nadhim Zahawi, Iraqi Kurd refugee, “British by choice, Conservative by conviction” with a sympathetic backstory, former Education Secretary and current Chancellor, leader of the vaccine task force and co-founder of YouGov. Brexiteer and the pro-business candidate, “NZ4PM” wants Britain to lead the world in innovation and technology while remaining a political and moral power, big on ending global poverty and disease. Wants to cut both business and individual’s income taxes, says nothing is off the table and he is committed to improving government communication, and spend more on defence. Celebrated the Queens Jubilee with pride and gusto in Qatar which he called “Global Britain in action.” As Chancellor he is in a position to do something meaningful to increase public sector pay. Zahawi appears dedicated to public service and grateful for the opportunities and success that Britain has enabled for him, has undertaken to be personally transparent and publish his own tax affairs.
Jeremy Hunt, former Culture, Health, and Foreign Secretary and by choice no position in Johnson’s cabinet, he has two failed leadership bids behind him, Hunt thinks trust in politics is at a low ebb - has been talking up Global Britain and Britain’s role in the world for a few years now. “Jeremy Hunt 2022” #winbacktrust wants to cut business rates for 5 years and reduce business tax to 15%, his emphasis is on wealth creation, he claims to want to see through the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, keep up the pressure on illegal immigration and people smugglers, and increase defence spending; he also believes in mandatory Covid vaccination and Britain’s role in making COVAX equitably available.
Kemi Badenoch former Equalities Minister, a free speech and free trade champion campaigning on a “tell the truth” platform, a genuine Brexiteer Badenoch believes in a principled small state with low tax, she is adept and confident in her patriotic views. “KemiforPrimeMinister” is anti-populism and pro-productivity; she does not see a division between the cultural or economic sphere and wants to keep Britain firmly on the international stage. Reputedly Badenoch is thorough on detail.
The fact that UK has two British Indians, a British Iraqi Kurd and a British Nigerian origin candidate, and a majority of Pro-Brexit candidates, is testament to how global Britain is.
The issues are Conservative party unity, the economy/cost of living, big-state-vs-small-state and defending Britain from wokery. Interestingly the environment, conservation and climate change no longer make it to the top of the leadership narrative.
The question is who will meaningfully unite the Conservative party and restore the Conservative brand?