A new PM in seven days – what should we expect?

On the steps of No10, Liz Truss finally accepted that she had lost the confidence of the Conservative Party and, as such, had lost the ability to get her agenda through Parliament.

She indicated that there would be a fresh leadership election, and a new PM appointed within a week, with a series of rapid votes due to be held by the 1922 Committee.

As expected, Sir Keir Starmer and other opposition leaders have responded to the crisis by calling for a General Election, but, with a majority of 71, the Conservative Party will resist these calls.

So long as they can command a working and operating majority in the House of Commons there remains no constitutional need for an election and the worsening economic situation could bolster the argument for Conservatives remaining in place.

It became obvious last night, as we saw chaotic scenes in the Commons and the resignation of the Home Secretary, that the end game was already in play.

And at 11am today, the chair of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, went into No10 to discuss the process for her departure as leader of the Conservative Party.

The first vote is likely to be held when all candidates are announced, unless there is a political deal made.

Rishi Sunak’s team has been active in parliament this week, as has Penny Mordaunt’s. A high-level meeting was held between both teams just the day before Truss quit, but both are currently looking like they will stand with neither willing to give way.

Others will doubtless throw their hat in the ring, including Suella Braverman as the candidate of the right.

While the consensus is that it is too early for a Boris Johnson return, his popularity with members, and the powerful betrayal narrative surrounding his deposition, means it is not impossible.

Our sources in Parliament confirm that Rishi will likely get the most votes amongst MPs, as he did last time, but the news that members will get a vote in this contest means there are doubts that he can win in the final stage.

Liz Truss will continue as PM until the process is finished and the King can call upon a replacement leader.

Next week will see parliamentary paralysis. Again.

Whilst ministers remain in place until the new leader is chosen, the reality is they will operate as placeholders until they are either reconfirmed or new ministers and advisors are appointed by the next Prime Minister.

In terms of policy and the agenda, whoever wins, the focus will remain on economic stability. It means that we will see a whittling down of lots of other areas, like investment zones and the drive towards Brexit deregulation – both Truss policies.

The manifesto commitments to levelling up will remain. However, the level of attention they receive remains to be seen.

Whoever wins, given the chaos that has unfolded over the past month, they will know that they cannot take big risks and must bridge the gaps within the party where possible.

So, that will affect the appointment of ministers but also the policy agenda, with a stripped back and more focussed plan.

The potential knock-on effect – a lot of planned policy junked quickly and new teams leading government departments.