Rehman Chishti wants to be the next prime minister
An obscure Tory MP has launched his campaign to be the next Tory leader – just two days after becoming a minister for the first time.
Rehman Chishti shocked Westminster by becoming the 11th candidate to officially throw their hat into the ring.
But while the likes of Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt and Liz Truss are well known, Chishti is barely recognisable outside his own house.
And he wasn’t even a Conservative in 2005, when he stood for Labour at the general election.
After being elected in 2010 as the MP for Gillingham and Rainham, the Pakistan-born politician spent 12 years on the backbenches, although he was briefly the Conservatives’ vice-chairman for communities.
However, the turmoil which enveloped the government last week – and saw Boris Johnson announce he was quitting as prime minister – was Chishti’s ticket to the big time.
He joined the likes of Peter Bone and Andrea Jenkyn as unlikely entrants to the ministerial ranks as Johnson scrambled to replace the dozens of frontbenchers who resigned in protest at his leadership.
And just two days after being appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs, the 43-year-old decided it was time for a crack at the top job.
Announcing his candidacy on Twitter late last night, he said: “I’m standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister. For me it’s about aspirational conservatism, fresh ideas, fresh team for a fresh start taking our great country forward.”
I’m standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister. For me it’s about aspirational conservatism, fresh ideas, fresh team for a fresh start taking our great country forward. (Full video on my Facebook page). pic.twitter.com/0BBOkqmKgV
— Rehman Chishti (@Rehman_Chishti) July 10, 2022
Perhaps unsurprisingly, his announcement was greeted with bewilderment on social media, with almost everyone – including keen observers of UK politics – completely unaware of who he is.
Rehman Chishti joins Tory leadership contest pic.twitter.com/EptsmuY6GZ
— Agenda (@agendathetab) July 11, 2022
"Do you know who I am? I'm Rehman Chishti!"
"REHMAN CHISHTI!" pic.twitter.com/vvDkTKE46L
— GC 〓〓 (@GavinCurnow) July 10, 2022
Everyone in UK pic.twitter.com/ET6ihg7RGH
— Matt (@TheDogFather96) July 10, 2022
“Newly appointed Foreign Office minister Rehman Chishti announced he is running to be the next Tory leader”
Hilarious! My MP, Rehman Chishti has announced he wants to be Prime Minister. Invisible in between elections, even his constituents have never heard of him.
— Julian Foulkes (@JulianPFoulkes) July 11, 2022
So far, Chishti has received the support of no other MP, meaning he is unlikely to reach whatever nomination threshold the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers decide upon later today.
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