Senior Conservative party figures are looking to thin out the field of candidates to succeed Boris Johnson as bitterness between rival camps grows.
A total of 10 candidates have formally declared their intention to stand to be the next UK prime minister. The election process will be agreed at a special meeting of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, where they will also determine the threshold for candidates to make it on to the ballot.
One senior MP said it was “likely” that candidates would be required to secure the support of at least 10 per cent of the party to run, which equates to 36 MPs. Another senior MP suggested the threshold may be 20.
Such a high bar is likely to immediately knock out lesser-known candidates. In the last Tory leadership contest in 2019, candidates were required to attract the support of just eight MPs to be on the ballot.
Lead contenders have already pledged sweeping tax cuts that threaten to leave a black hole in British finances. Johnson’s allies, meanwhile, have set out to stop Rishi Sunak from becoming the party’s next leader, accusing the former chancellor of treachery for triggering the premier’s premature exit.
While loyalists clung to the wreckage of Johnson’s government, there were few tears shed among Tory MPs. Take a look at the legacy left behind by the uniquely polarising leader.
Thank you for reading FirstFT Europe/Africa. Here is the rest of the day’s news — Jennifer
Five more stories in the news
1. Wirecard forged client details to secure €900mn from SoftBank The German payments group created a fake client list and lied about internal records to secure the confidence of SoftBank after a Financial Times investigation raised questions about its business in 2019. The deception came before a much larger attempt at transaction data fraud months before the company collapsed.
2. Canada waives Russia sanctions Ottawa will allow the export of vital equipment from Montreal for the main Russian gas pipeline to Germany, allowing for repairs and clearing an obstacle to the resumption of increased gas deliveries to Europe as Berlin confronts fears of supply rationing.
More on the war in Ukraine
3. UK households charged £164 for energy supplier failures About 4mn customers will be charged the extra sum a year through their bills to pay for collapsed energy suppliers, according to charity Citizens Advice, which called on energy regulator Ofgem to repair “shattered consumer trust”.
4. Twitter hires elite law firm to sue Elon Musk The social media company has hired Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as it readies for a legal battle against the billionaire Tesla chief as early as this week for walking away from his $44bn takeover deal.
5. Wealth management booms Growth of wealth management is set to outpace that of asset management by an average of 2 per cent every year until 2030, as young do-it-yourself investors seek assistance in turbulent markets, according to research by consultancy Bain.
The day ahead
Tory party elections The UK Conservative party’s backbenchers elect new officials for the 1922 committee. The first task for that body will be to agree on rules for electing the next British prime minister, which is expected to take place by early September.
Industrial action Criminal law barristers in England and Wales walk out again over legal cuts, a backlog in cases and other reasons explained here by a legal insider. Strike ballots are in for unions Aslef, representing train drivers, and TSSA, which represents more than 6,000 Network Rail staff.
Nord Stream 1 shutdown Russia is closing its main pipeline to Germany for 10 days for scheduled maintenance. Berlin fears it will never reopen.
What else we’re reading
How will quantitative tightening affect markets? June was not a great month for markets, with the first rapid ascent of interest rates and rising fears of a recession in the US. Investors said another factor was at play: the world’s most powerful central bank yanked away its safety net, quantitative easing, leaving fund managers wondering how it will play out.
Opinion: What Shinzo Abe’s assassination means for ‘Pax Japonica’ The assassination of Japan’s former prime minister prompted flashbacks of the country’s bloody political past. While Pax Japonica will most likely remain, it is dangerous to assume that such stability is determined by low public interest in politics, argues Leo Lewis.
Abortion bans will hit the poor hardest Denying women access to abortion in many US states will worsen inequality and increase financial hardships for women and their families. Studies show that children of women denied abortions were more likely to live in a household that could not afford basic living expenses compared with children of women who received an abortion earlier.
Opinion: Get ready for salaries to become more public Pay transparency is on the rise in the US and Europe to close the gender pay gap. But the burden should not fall on women to be more assertive about pay rises, argues Pilita Clark.
More on work and careers: The 30% Club, which aims to increase the number of women on company boards, is 10 years old. How much has it achieved?
Drier, hotter weather fuels Europe’s fire season It is getting hotter earlier in Europe. Last month marked Europe’s second warmest June on record, according to the EU’s earth observation agency. Hotter and drier weather is making the continent more prone to combustion.
Life & Arts
French feminist Niki de Saint Phalle created bright sculptures of women that embodied joy in a “defiant and rebellious way.” Here are some of her most famous pieces, including the L’Oiseau Amoureux, which sold for more than $600,000 in 2020.
Read the full article here