The term “Tory leadership” typically refers to the leadership of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, which is often referred to as the “Tory Party”. The Conservative Party is one of the two major political parties in the UK, along with the Labor Party.
The term “Tory” originated in 17th century England and was used to refer to members of the Conservative Party, which was then known as the Tory Party. The term “Tory” was originally used as an insult by supporters of the rival Whig Party, but it was later embraced by the Conservatives as a badge of honor.
Today, the term “Tory” is still used to refer to members of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, although it is now more commonly used in a historical context. The term is also sometimes used more broadly to refer to conservative or right-wing political movements or ideologies in other countries.
At the current scenarios, the Tory leadership is determined by a process of internal elections within the Conservative Party, which is open to all party members. The leader of the party is elected by a vote of Conservative MPs (Members of Parliament), and if more than two candidates are nominated, there is a series of ballots in which the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated until only two candidates remain. The final two candidates then face a vote of the wider Conservative Party membership, with the winner becoming the new leader.
The leader of the Conservative Party typically serves as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as the party with the largest number of seats in the House of Commons forms the government. The Tory leadership is therefore of significant importance in British politics, as it determines the direction of government policy and the UK’s international relations.
In recent past years, the Tory Party has been led by Theresa May (2016-2019) and Boris Johnson (2019-present), both of whom have faced significant challenges in navigating Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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In July 2022, Rishi Sunak, the current Prime Minister of the UK, announced his candidacy for the Conservative Party leadership election, with “patriotism, fairness, hard work” as his core values. He also promised to “crack down on gender neutral language”. After receiving the most votes in each round of MP voting, he emerged as one of the final two candidates alongside Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Truss won the membership vote with 57.4% of the vote, making her the new leader.
A few months later, in October 2022, Truss resigned, triggering a leadership contest. Sunak was reported to have the required 100 supporters from the House of Commons to run in the ballot on 24 October. By the afternoon of 22 October, over 100 MPs had publicly declared their support for him. Sunak confirmed his candidacy on 23 October, and with Johnson and Penny Mordaunt out of the race, Sunak was announced as the new Conservative leader on 24 October 2022.
Featured Image Credit: Financial Times.