Keir Starmer facing Labour’s worst nightmare in rising Conservative leadership hopeful

Kemi Badenoch may be 'Labour's worst nightmare' says Hunt

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Kemi Badenoch, the MP for Saffron Walden, has been tipped to go far in the race to replace Boris Johnson as Britain’s Prime Minister. Mr Hunt believes the former equalities minister has shown she has the ability to make Sir Keir Starmer’s life very difficult at the dispatch box and to take on the Labour Party as the next Conservative leader. 

Mr Hunt told GB News: “I find it fascinating to see how Keir Starmer would handle Kemi Badenoch over the despatch box.

“Many of us have seen Kemi Badenoch with the despatch box, we’ve seen her absolutely taking apart figures of the left and I think there’s an argument to be made that Kemi Badenoch might be Labour’s worst nightmare.”

Elected to parliament for the first time in 2017, Badenoch has held junior ministerial jobs, including most recently minister for equalities, but has never served in cabinet.

A former Conservative member of the London Assembly, she has also served as vice-chair of the Conservative Party.

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She supported Brexit in 2016.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has thrown his hat into the ring for Tory leader, joining his predecessor Rishi Sunak.

The former education secretary is the third serving Government minister to kick off their campaign for leadership, after Mr Shapps and Attorney General Suella Braverman announced their intentions to run.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that after “careful consideration” and discussion with colleagues and family, he would not stand to be party leader and the next prime minister.

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is widely expected to stand, with the Mail on Sunday reporting she will seek to advocate “classic Conservative principles”, and could declare her candidature as soon as Monday.

On Friday Sir Keir said he would try to bring about a national election using a vote of confidence in Mr Johnson next week unless Conservative lawmakers acted to remove him earlier.

Johnson has said he will resign when a new Conservative Party leader is selected, with more details on the timetable to be laid out next week by the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee.

Asked if he was pushing for a vote of no confidence next week to trigger a general election, Sir Keir said “yes” and said that Conservative lawmakers should act to remove Johnson early next week.

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“If they don’t, we will step up with a vote of no confidence,” Starmer told a news conference.

Fielding questions about whether his party could win any election outright, Starmer ruled out entering into an alliance or coalition with the Scottish National Party but was less definitive on arrangements with the centrist Liberal Democrats.

The SNP dominance of Westminster seats in Scotland, a former Labour heartland, since 2015 has made the route to a majority for Labour more difficult, with Conservatives saying Labour would need to do a deal with the SNP and possibly risk the break-up of the UK.

Starmer said that aside from any electoral calculus, he wanted to be a prime minister for the whole United Kingdom.

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