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Kwasi Kwarteng: The Conservative MP tipped to succeed Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, resigned as head of his Conservative Party on Thursday, July 7, 2022, after losing the support of top cabinet ministers.

“The process of choosing that new leader should begin now,” Johnson said on Thursday at the door of Number 10 Downing Street. “And today I have appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will; until a new leader is in place.”

Johnson, when thanking his voters said, “thank you for that incredible mandate, the biggest Conservative majority since 1987, the biggest share of the vote since 1979.”

“And the reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person was not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019,” he added.

Boris Johnson’s announcement has triggered the governing Conservative Party’s second leadership contest in three years, with millions wondering who will replace the PM.

A new leader is expected to be elected before the party conference in October, but Johnson continues as a caretaker leader until then.

Among the names tipped to succeed Boris Johnson is Kwasi Kwarteng, a British with Ghanaian ancestry.

Kwasi Kwarteng is the MP for Spelthorne and the Business Secretary. He was one of the Cabinet ministers who told the Prime Minister to stand down during a meeting in No 10.

Tweeting after Boris Johnson’s announcement, the 47-year-old said, “we now need a new Leader as soon as practicable. Someone who can rebuild trust, heal the country, and set out a new, sensible and consistent economic approach to help families.”

Kwasi Kwarteng became the Business Secretary on January 8, 2021, as part of a mini-reshuffle and is the second black man to serve in the Cabinet, the first being Paul Boateng.

But what do we know about Kwasi Kwarteng.

Kwasi Kwarteng on his website, kwasi.kwarteng.mp@parliament.uk, describes himself as someone born and raised in London by Ghanaian parents, Alfred K. Kwarteng and Charlotte Boaitey-Kwarteng.

He studied Classics and History at Cambridge University, and then attended Harvard University on a Kennedy Scholarship. He completed a PhD in Economic History at Cambridge in 2000. Before becoming a Member of Parliament, Kwasi worked as a financial analyst in the City, and as an author.

He was elected as the MP for Spelthorne on 6 May 2010 and was re-elected in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Since being elected, Kwasi has served on the Transport Select Committee, the Work and Pensions Select Committee and as a member of the Public Accounts Committee.

Kwarteng has also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 2018 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Exiting the European Union, and in 2019 he was appointed as Minister of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In January 2021, Kwasi Kwarteng, was appointed as Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In Spelthorne, the MP has consistently supported local enterprises, and in 2013 he launched the Spelthorne Business Plan Competition to find and support the local entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The competition has successfully taken place every year since, except in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Kwasi Kwarteng has written several books and continues to have a keen interest in history, as well as in music and languages.

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