BORIS JOHNSON should be replaced as the Tory Party leader by rising star and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, according to an Express.co.uk poll.
More than a quarter (27 percent) of over 10,000 readers backed Rishi Sunak to be the next Conservative Party leader. It comes as pressure grows on Prime Minister Boris Johnson over a series of embarrassing U-turn amid his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the A-level exam results controversy.
In second place was Brexiteer and Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, with 23 percent (2,164) of readers backing him.
While Michael Gove, currently Cabinet Office Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, got 10 percent (949) of the vote.
Mr Johnson’s previous Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt got just 4 percent (474) of the vote when Express.co.uk readers were asked ‘Who should be the next Conservative Party leader?’
Mr Sunak, who has only been part of the Cabinet for just under a year, is the bookies’ hot favourite to be the next Tory leader at odds of just 3/1 with Bet365.
Branded the ‘rising star of the Tory party’, Mr Sunak has the mammoth task of leading the UK’s economic strategy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Five years ago Mr Sunak wasn’t even a member of parliament – but now he is running the world’s fifth-largest economy as it battles against the national health crisis that is the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor, who has headed up several multi-billion pound packages during the COVID-19 crisis, including the popular furlough scheme, has long been tipped by bookmakers to one day become Prime minister.
The 40-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker was appointed in dramatic fashion when incumbent Sajid Javid unexpectedly quit – in a row over advisers – during what Downing Street described as a routine ministerial reshuffle.
His vote of confidence from Express.co.uk readers comes after the Chancellor was hit by controversy when he leaked his own tax plans for the UK economy after he was photographed leaving Downing Street with his notes in hand.
The document appeared to be the speech he had prepared for disgruntled Tory backbenchers, which said there would be “difficult” decisions ahead, but added there would not be a “horror show of tax rises”.
Mr Sunak later promised there won’t be a “horror show” of tax rises to help cover the cost of the COVID-19 crisis.
But he hinted that some hikes could be on the way as he warned that the Government “will need to do some difficult things” as it grapples with the worst economic shellshock in more than a century.
Mr Sunak told the MPs: “We will need to do some difficult things, but I promise you, if we trust one another we will be able to overcome the short-term challenges.
“Now this doesn’t mean a horror show of tax rises with no end in sight.
“But it does mean treating the British people with respect, being honest with them about the challenges we face, and showing them how we plan to correct our public finances and give our country the dynamic, low-tax economy we all want to see.”
He said the Conservatives “cannot, will not and must not surrender our position as the party of economic competence and sound finance”.
Speaking about the task ahead for Mr Sunak, one senior Tory source told
The Daily Telegraph: “The dilemma facing Rishi is that he is going to have to make the switch from being Father Christmas, handing out free furlough cash and hot dinners, to Scrooge, clawing the money back in any way he can.
“It’s always been in the Treasury’s DNA to balance the books, but most of their tax-raising ideas are politically idiotic.
“The most successful Chancellors are the ones who realise that.”
The Express.co.uk poll of 10,026 readers ran from 10.28a on Wednesday to 7.22am on Thursday.