The diverse race to be UK Prime Minister, with Rishi Sunak, Soyla Braverman, Kimi Badenouche


LONDON – In the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, and later the next British Prime Minister, there are Rishi, Soyla and Kimi – vying against Tom, Benny and Liz – to replace Boris.

The Tory leadership contenders are the most ethnically diverse in British history – but not so much in ideology.

It is a subject of pride, and some brag about it, of centre-right Conservative leaders, who appear semi-permanent because their field is more diverse than previous rivalries within the opposition Labor Party, a centre-left movement, which seeks minority representation. in Britain.

This year’s Conservative field is also much more diverse than the last Tory leadership contest, which Boris Johnson won in 2019. Then, of the ten candidates to start the race, nine were white. Now, half of the contenders are minorities.

Whether Britain evolves into a “post-race” society, or is still mired in institutional racism and colonial attitudes, remains a topic of debate here, with evidence for all sides.

What is clear is that this diverse field of candidates did not happen by chance, but by design. It is the result of nearly two decades of recruitment and political promotion efforts.

Candidates for next UK Prime Minister

British demographers have traditionally used a sort of clumsy term to describe non-whites in Britain – BAME, for “Blacks, Asians and Ethnic Minorities”, an inclusive landscape that has come under much criticism, and may soon be phased out.

The UK’s population is predominantly white (87 per cent), with the second and third largest ethnic group being Asian (6 per cent) and black (3 per cent), according to the Office for National Statistics.

But four of the eight candidates who qualified for the leadership contest fall into the BAME category: Rishi Sunak, Suila Braverman, Kimi Badenouch, and Nazim Zahawi. When the first-round votes were counted on Wednesday, Sunak was up front and Zahawi out — along with Jeremy Hunt, who ran and lost to Johnson in 2019.

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Two other prominent governors from ethnic minority backgrounds – Home Secretary Priti Patel and former Health Minister Sajid Javid – decided at the last minute not to run.

Of those still at home, they are all quite conservative — although they differ somewhat on tax cuts and social spending. The three minority candidates voted for Britain to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, despite a campaign driven largely by anti-immigrant sentiment. All three resent the identity politics.

Promotion of conservative activists and lawmakers, Braverman said, “Don’t vote for me because I’m a woman. Don’t vote for me because I’m brown. Vote for me because I love this country and I’ll do anything for it.”

Braverman, who is the attorney general for England and Wales, was born in London to parents of Indian descent who immigrated to Britain in the 1960s from Kenya and Mauritius.

Announcing her show on ITV, Braverman said she wanted to cut taxes, cut public spending, stop immigrants from crossing the English Channel illegally and also “get rid of all that rubbish that woke up”. Sunak also criticized “clumsy, gender-neutral language”. At Badenoch’s launch, proponents saw the replacement of unisex toilet signs with signs denoting “men” and “ladies”.

How will the next British Prime Minister be chosen?

This field of candidates can trace its political origins back to 2005 and the election of David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party, after a general election that Labor lost. At the time, the Conservatives had only two minority deputies in Parliament. In 2001, the Conservative Party had none.

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“Cameron was the modernizing leader of the Conservative Party, a party that was then seen as traditional and beleaguered,” said Tim Bell, professor of political science at Queen Mary University of London. “He was young, still in his thirties. Basically, he argued that the conservatives needed to change their sales force.”

in 2005 SpeechCameron said he intends to “change the face of the Conservative Party by changing the face of the Conservative Party.”

Bell said Cameron recognized that many first- and second-generation immigrants were good targets for party messages: They ran small businesses and were family-focused, but wary of the government and resistant to high taxes.

So Cameron pushed his party’s local assemblies to find and promote younger, more diverse candidates for parliamentary seats in secure Conservative constituencies.

Badenock, 42, represents the constituency of Saffron Walden, which has been the “safe seat” of the Conservative Party since 1922. Bell described it as “the old Tory and whiter than white.” Upon being elected to Parliament in 2017, Badenouch praised the UK for giving it a chance to live out the “British Dream”.

Badenoch was born in London to parents of Nigerian descent and spent most of her childhood in Lagos and the United States.

Daily Telegraph columnist Tanya Gould writes that the ethnic diversity of the Conservative Party may be “confusing and disturbing to some leftists, who think that these people should be leftists because anything else is insane”.

The Labor Party continues to dominate as the vote-taker among minorities. In the last general election in December 2019, age was the dominant indicator of preference: older voters went to the Conservatives and younger voters in favor of Labour. It is difficult to define support on the basis of race and ethnicity in Britain, but based on survey data, the survey group Ipsos MORI estimated That in 2019, Labor fared significantly better than the Conservatives among minority ethnic groups, receiving 64 percent of all black and minority ethnic voters, while 20 percent voted for the Conservatives and 12 percent for the Liberal Democrats.

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However, the Conservatives point out that they – not Labor – were the first party to see a woman, Margaret Thatcher, prime minister, and then promote another, Theresa May, to the highest office.

Of the six candidates for prime minister today, four are women – so the Conservatives could appoint a third woman to 10 Downing Street by September.

For his part, Johnson continued to push diversity, appointing what he called “a government for modern Britain”. The Economist noted, “Boris Johnson is such a living embodiment of white privilege that it is easy to forget how diverse his government is.”

Politics is politics, two of these various ministers – Sunak and Juweed – Government immigration started Last week, which led to Johnson’s resignation announcement.

Sunak, a former chancellor and finance minister, was born in Southampton, England to parents of Indian descent who immigrated from East Africa. He went to some of the most elite and most expensive schools in Britain, including Oxford. He is married to British-Indian fashion designer Akshata Murti, who is the billionaire daughter of the founder of the Indian IT company Infosys. The couple have been the subject of a recent petty scandal which revealed that Morty was presenting herself as a “non-resident” resident of the UK, which meant she was not paying British taxes on nearly all of her vast fortune.

Currently, Sunak is a leading contender to replace his former boss.

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