While global financial markets, not to mention Europe’s political elite, rushes to preempt the global political fallout from Brexit, the UK itself is undergoing a chaotic and very much ad hoc politcal transformation, one which has seen no precedent in UK history, in the short day since David Cameron announced his resignation while the Chancellor George Osborne appears to have vaporized, just days after spending every waking moment prognosticating about doom and gloom should the Leave camp win.
In the middle of this transformation is none other than Boris Johnson, the leader of the successful “Leave” campaign, who however has cause to celebrate tonight because according to the Sunday Times, the former London mayor has won the backing of a key colleague to replace David Cameron as prime minister. Justice minister Michael Gove, who together with Johnson led the “Leave” campaign, called Johnson on Saturday to say he would back him for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party, Reuters added.
The Sunday Times said interior minister Theresa May was expected to enter the leadership contest in the coming days and was likely to get support from allies of Cameron who see her as the best candidate to take on Johnson, a former London mayor.
May supported the “Remain” campaign but took a lower profile than Cameron and finance minister George Osborne, whose hopes of becoming the party’s next leader took a big blow with the outcome of the referendum.
One also wonders what, if any role, Nigel Farage will hold in the new cabinet: after all, if it weren;’t for the UKIP in last year’s elections, David Cameron would have never called the Referendum which has since cost him his job and the UK’s presence in the EU. For him to be omitted from any key position would be a massive oversight, and significant gamble, on the part of the Conservative Party.
But it wasn’t just the Conservative Party that was seeing dramatic changes in its leadership overnight. As Sky News also reported moments ago, Jeremy Corbyn sacked Hilary Benn from the shadow cabinet following reports of a coup to oust the Labour leader. It follows claims in The Observer newspaper that the shadow foreign secretary would ask Mr Corbyn to resign if there was significant support for a move against the leader.
Mr Benn had also reportedly asked fellow MPs to join him in resigning from the shadow cabinet if Mr Corbyn ignored the request. A Labour spokesman said: “Jeremy has sacked him on the grounds that he has lost confidence in him.” Sky’s chief political correspondent, Jon Craig, said: “A shadow cabinet mutiny is much more serious than a backbench revolt, so Mr Corbyn has acted swiftly.
“He has sacked Mr Benn, but that does not mean that the mutiny will not go ahead. Other shadow cabinet members may walk out now that Mr Benn has been sacked.”
On Saturday, the embattled Labour leader had warned he would not stand aside if a leadership contest was held. He also told Sky’s Sophy Ridge that he would run again for leader in the event that a challenger came forward.
Mr Corbyn has come under considerable pressure after the UK voted to leave the European Union in Thursday’s referendum, with many critics claiming that a lacklustre campaign had left Labour supporters confused on where the party stands.
Mr Corbyn was heckled at a gay pride event in London yesterday and told to resign over not being able to get Labour voters in Wales, the Midlands and the North to back Remain. Tom Mauchline filmed his heated encounters with the politician, where he shouted: “It’s your fault Jeremy. When are you resigning? I’ve got a Polish friend in tears because you couldn’t get out the vote.”
Mr Corbyn avoided engaging with the heckler before finally saying “I did all I could” – and one of his minders quickly stepped in front and added: “It’s the Murdoch press.”
So Goldman Sachs 0 – Murdoch Press 1?
Finally, while we follow these dramatic transformations within the UK’s political parties, we leave readers with the following disturbing photocollage of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, the two biggest winners so far from the global anti-establishment revolt.
Donald Trump & Boris Johnson = Owen Wilson.
I can’t unsee this. pic.twitter.com/LHLsVDS16O
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) June 25, 2016
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