Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak or Boris Johnson: Who could replace Liz Truss?

20 October 2022, 14:43 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 19:59

Rishi Sunak (l), Boris Johnson (c) and Penny Morduant (r) among the favourities to Lizz Truss
Rishi Sunak (l), Boris Johnson (c) and Penny Morduant (r) among the favourities to Lizz Truss. Picture: Alamy

By Tim Dodd

Liz Truss has resigned as Prime Minister after just six weeks in office, after a succession of embarrassing U-turns and a disastrous economic plan brought a deafening clamour from both sides of the house to remove her.

Earlier she was visited for crisis talks by 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady - who oversees votes of confidence - prompting speculation that her time as PM was over.

Shortly after, she appeared before the media outside Downing Street to announce she would quit, but said she'd remain in the role until a successor was chosen via a leadership election held within a week.

So who are the runners and riders among her Conservative colleagues to replace her?

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak. Picture: Alamy

The former chancellor is the favourite to replace Truss, having come second in the previous leadership election with the most votes from fellow MPs among all the candidates for the top job.

In recent days senior Tories have discussed the possibility of installing Sunak and Penny Mordaunt on a joint ticket, according to The Times.

Sunak warned that Truss's unfunded tax cuts would bring chaos to the UK economy.

Following the disastrous mini-budget, which spooked markets and crashed the pound, his foresight strengthened his image as a reassuring figure for the financial markets, as well as his party.

Penny Mordaunt

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Alamy

Mordaunt came third in the 2022 leadership race, narrowly missing out on the final two.

She committed her support to Liz Truss and was appointed Leader of the House of Commons.

But she openly disagreed with Truss in recent weeks, going against the government line at party conference to say that benefits should rise in line with inflation.

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace. Picture: Alamy

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace didn't step forward for the summer 2022 leadership contest, despite being a popular choice within the party.

He's a former captain in the Scots Guards, and has been praised for his role in support of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

Wallace is seen as unifying figure, however, whether he wants the job remains to be seen.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson. Picture: Alamy

The disgraced PM has off-grid since his leaving Downing Street, but some Conservative MPs had floated the idea of inviting him back to replace Truss.

Though well-liked among party members, Johnson is less popular with MPs, many of whom were deeply angered at having to defend the government through months of damaging reports.

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman. Picture: Alamy

Suella Braverman stood for the leadership in 2022, and endorsed the winner, Liz Truss.

She was appointed Home Secretary by Truss, but was sacked yesterday over a security breach, and used her resignation to offer a thinly veiled criticism of Truss's leadership.

The 42-year-old had previously served as attorney general and as a junior Brexit minister.

The ex-barrister is known for her hardline stance on immigration, and was criticised after saying that seeing a flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda is her 'dream' and obsession'.