Continuity Cameron-May Candidate Builds Momentum in Race to Be Next British Prime Minister

Britain's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (R) looks on as Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to assembled guests as she hosts a reception to mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, at 10 Downing Street, in central London on July 4, 2018. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / POOL / AFP) …
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OLIVER JJ LANE

Seeing their poll ratings plummet and being all but wiped out in the recent European Parliament elections, Britain’s governing Conservative Party is considering whether more of the same may be the answer to their troubles as they work to pick a new leader.

Jeremy Hunt, the long-serving minister responsible for Britain’s nationalised health service who is now the foreign secretary — one of the most senior positions in the British government — has established himself as a credible option to replace Theresa May, and has secured a series of high-profile nominations, The Times reports.

Having been a loyal lieutenant to the disastrous leadership of Britain’s present Prime Minister, Hunt is seen as a contingency-May candidate, who herself was thought of at the time of her selection as a continuation of the legacy of David Cameron. All three have embodied the centrist, modernising ideas that have abandoned traditional conservative values and failed to deliver on matters of key importance to the electorate, including delivering their repeated manifesto promise to control immigration.

The Brexit years have not been kind to the Conservative Party — first losing the Brexit referendum against the British people that was intended to be a certain victory and which forced Cameron’s resignation, and then nearly three years of self-inflicted Brexit defeats at the hands of Theresa May. After coming fifth in last month’s European Union Parliament elections, the Conservatives are now polling in fourth place for the Westminster general election, while the new Brexit Party is six points clear of the nearest competitor in first place.

Despite the clear swing of the country away from the Conservative’s own brand of Europhile centralism, would-be leader Hunt’s campaign continues to gain momentum.

Hunt was against the United Kingdom leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, consistently supported Theresa May’s “betrayal” treaty with the European Union, and remains against the UK leaving the European Union fully, in what the British political establishment calls a “hard”, or clean Brexit.

Despite his poor track record on Brexit, Hunt has attempted to signal his willingness to play hard in the past. Breitbart London reported in October when he compared the European Union to the Soviet Union for its autocratic impulses.

What would otherwise be an internal party matter takes on special importance, as under the British Parliamentary system whoever replaces Theresa May as the Conservative Party leader automatically becomes the UK Prime Minister. This occurs without a further national election, as the Conservatives presently have the largest number of Members of Parliament, and so form a government.

Because the government has seen so many resignations over Theresa May’s bungled handling of Brexit over the past three years, many Conservative big-hitters languish on the back-benches and outside of government. Because of this the theoretically most senior Conservative to declare support for a leadership candidate came out on Monday for Hunt — the comparatively unknown rising star defence secretary Peny Mordaunt.

Hunt’s campaign is also supported by Amber Rudd, another Theresa May loyalist.

Among the most prominent opponents of Mr Hunt to capture the leadership and hence the Prime Ministership are Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Boris Johnson. While Johnson remains the clear favourite to win the race, he also was in 2016 when he was forced to step down, opening the way for then fringe candidate Theresa May to become leader.

The former Mayor of London has also been attacked for his perceived lack of conviction over Brexit by rival Dominic Raab, who also launched his campaign Monday. Taking a swipe at Johnson, Raab told supporters in London: “we’re up against it and we won’t deliver Brexit with bluff and bluster” — qualities for which Mr Johnson is well known in British politics.

Oliver JJ Lane is the editor of Breitbart London — Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

 

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