With the UK’s new prime minister in office, it looks like the political turmoil of the last few months is likely to ease, at least for the time being. Rishi Sunak and his fellow MPs must put their political differences aside to focus on stabilising the economy and calming financial markets. But Sunak will of course have one eye on the next election, which he must call before January 2025.
As Boris Johnson barricades himself in Number 10, apparently unwilling or unable to listen to the advice of close party colleagues who are calling on him to resign, how can we understand this bizarre melodrama?
As I watched Johnson’s appearance in front of the House of Commons Liaison Committee on the afternoon before his showdown with key members of his cabinet, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a deeper malady at play. It was as if an existential disconnect had settled across the comfortingly boring committee room.