Liz Truss leading the race in Tory polls
The ballot results will be announced at 12:30 pm on Monday before the outgoing PM Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II the next day, yet climate activists call for more inclusive decision-making as a vote on the UK’s next prime minister drew to a close.
Ballots in the Conservative party leadership election closed today at 5:00 pm (1600 GMT), with Liz Truss widely expected to win the premiership, a month after Boris Johnson announced his resignation following a series of scandals and resignations from his government.
After a two-month contest that saw the two final competitors engage in heated exchanges in televised debates, the results will be announced at 12:30 pm on Monday before the outgoing PM Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II the following day.
Conservative Party chairman Andrew Stephenson thanked both candidates for taking part in the often "grueling schedule in good spirits".
"I know our party is ready to unite around a new leader and tackle the challenges we face as a country ahead," he said as the ballot closed.
Climate activists glued to speakers
Just as the vote on the UK’s next prime minister drew to a close, a group of British climate activists entered the UK Parliament and superglued themselves to the speaker’s chair to call for more inclusive decision-making.
Extinction Rebellion said some 50 people rallied at the House of Commons to demand that Westminster give power back to the people amid the deepening cost-of-living crisis and environmental destruction.
Activists from Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to the speaker’s chair inside the UK's House of Commons https://t.co/FlrQrOSdGY— Bloomberg (@business) September 2, 2022
The group said in a manifesto that three activists had booked an official tour of the building. They glued themselves in a chain around the speaker’s chair and took turns to read a speech that called for a citizens’ assembly "to cut through the corruption deep in the heart of Westminster."
"It is possible to act on climate and costs in a way that is fair and supports everyone. But our political system is too out of date and out of touch to see beyond the next election cycle… We need a new way of making decisions, where more voices are heard, not just those at the top," it read.
Police were called to escort protesters out of the building and Extinction Rebellion said that several arrests had been made. The Metropolitan Police reported that Met officers and parliamentary staff were responding.
The protest came on the last day of voting in the Conservative leadership race, with results expected in a couple of days. The choice is between former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Whoever wins will run both the party and the country.
#LizForLeader or #LizUntrust?
Truss, 47, has been consistently leading in opinion polls throughout the campaign. The latest survey from the Conservative Home website revealed that 60 percent of Tory members were planning to back Truss compared with 28 percent in favor of Sunak.
Truss has promised to slash taxes for British SMEs and unleash a “business revolution” in the UK if she is crowned Prime Minister, just as Britain faces decades-high inflation and is tipped to enter recession later this year.
"I have a bold plan that will grow our economy and deliver higher wages, more security, for families and world-class public services," Truss said in a statement, as the curtain came down on the often bitter race with her 42-year-old rival Sunak.
"If I am elected prime minister, I will never let anyone talk us down and I will do everything in my power to make sure our great nation succeeds."
Sunak said the projected surge in inflation reinforced his view that Truss would be "reckless" to increase borrowing and cut taxes now, warning they risk heightening inflation and eroding the country's standing in the eyes of international lenders and markets.
Read more: In leaked audio, Truss bashes fellow Britons as 'lacking talent'
The party's rank-and-file have rallied to Truss's right-wing platform, even if she is a former Liberal Democrat who opposed leaving the EU in Britain's 2016 referendum.
Millions say that with energy bills set to spike by 80 percent from October -- and further again from January -- they face a painful choice between eating and heating this winter.
Truss has vowed tax cuts but critics note those would do nothing to benefit the poorest.
She had previously decried direct handouts, but this week vowed to "deliver immediate support to ensure people are not facing unaffordable fuel bills" this winter.
Climate crisis in the UK
Recently in the UK, there has been a growing wave of discontent with regard to the current global climate crisis, its disastrous effects on the UK climate, and the government's weak performance in tackling it.
On Sunday, it was announced that water companies would have to invest £56bn over 25 years into a long-term program to tackle storm sewage discharges by 2050.
However, critics have said this strategy was a "cruel joke", and that these payments will end up being put on customers’ bills and force the public to pay as chief executives continue to receive large bonuses.
Last week, supporters of the environmental campaign Just Stop Oil blocked three service stations on the M25, a major road that encircles the majority of Greater London, in their second day of action this week in a bid to force the hand of the British government to end new projects revolving around oil and gas extraction and pumping.
In July, an emergency climate briefing was held in the UK parliament: Only 60 of 650 UK MPs were committed to attending the briefing. It was based on the slides that were presented to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson prior to Glasgow's UN climate summit, COP26, that took place back in November of 2021.
This comes days after UK infrastructure chief John Armitt said England has been failing to invest in the water networks needed to avoid recurring droughts in the future, as the current policies amount to the government "keeping [its] fingers crossed."
Drought was declared in 8 of 14 of England's regions after a meeting among the National Drought Group, a committee made of ministers, civil servants, water companies, and conservation groups.
Read more: Climate crisis causes Tille river to become mass grave for fish