Britain could have a new prime minister by early September, the ruling Conservative Party said. Prime Minister David Cameron had resigned after the country decided to vote in favor of leaving the EU last week.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's replacement as British leader and as head of the Conservative Party should be in place by September 2, the party's committee in charge of the leadership election said. The government appears to feel under pressure to fill the vacuum after Cameron announced he would resign by October.
Graham Brady, chair of the "1922 committee" of Conservative lawmakers which sets out the party's ground rules in parliament, said the group had recommended that the leadership contest should begin next week.
"We [...] recommend that the process of electing a new leader of the Conservative Party should [...] conclude no later than Friday September 2, although an earlier conclusion may be possible," Brady said. The recommendation is reportedly highly likely to be passed.
"Both the Conservatives and the country more generally really want certainty. We would like a resolution and we think it would be a good thing to conclude this process as soon as we practicably can," Brady told Sky News.
He added that there should be no new parliamentary election before Britain had negotiated the terms of the exit from the EU.
Boris Johnson leading membership campaign
Cameron resigned after the British electorate had ignored his advice, voting to leave the European Union in the June 23 referendum. Cameron urged ministers to work together in the meantime.
Several Conservative lawmakers have urged potential leadership candidates to avoid deepening the divisions exposed during the referendum campaign. Former London mayor Boris Johnson, the most prominent of the "Leave" campaigners and a favorite to succeed Cameron, has toned down some of his rhetoric since the referendum result. In a statement earlier in the week, Johnson said that the UK would not be "any less European."
Not all Conservative Party members appear to back Johnson, seeing his decision to support the Leave campaign as a betrayal of his former ally Cameron.
ss/kl (Reuters, AFP)