UK PM race: Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss final two in the fray, Penny Mordaunt knocked out

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Rishi Sunak | Photo: AP

London: Former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss emerged as the final two candidates in the Tory leadership race after Penny Mordaunt was knocked out of the contest on Wednesday.

International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt was knocked out in the final round of ballot among Conservative lawmakers. Rishi Sunak won 137 votes, while Truss received 113 in the final round, reported Xinhua.The two will now go through a postal ballot among all Conservative Party members, numbering around 200,000, over the summer. The winner, to be announced on September 5, will automatically become UK's next Prime Minister, replacing outgoing Boris Johnson.

Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, topped the first round with 88 votes, according to Graham Brady, chair of the Conservative Backbench 1922 Committee.The other five survivors were International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt (67 votes), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (50 votes), former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch (40 votes), Backbench lawmaker Tom Tugendhat (37 votes) and Attorney General Suella Braverman (32 votes).

Subsequently, four candidates made it to the Tory leadership race to replace outgoing Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) after the third round of voting concluded on July 18. Tom Tugendhat, House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, was knocked out of the race as he received the fewest votes.

The four survivors were former Sunak (115 votes), Mordaunt (82 votes), Truss (71 votes), and Badenoch (58 votes).

Indian-origin former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak retained the lead in the fourth round of voting on Tuesday to succeed Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, while one candidate was eliminated.

Sunak came on top with 118 votes, followed by Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt with 92 votes and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss with 86 votes. Former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch was eliminated from the contest, reducing the number of contestants to three, according to the 1922 Committee of Conservative Party backbenchers.

Boris Johnson replaced Theresa May as prime minister in 2019 and announced on July 7 that he was stepping down as prime minister and leader of the UK Conservative Party.A total of 58 ministers quit the government following an ethics scandal which ultimately forced the UK premier to resign. Johnson, 58, managed to remain in power for almost three years, despite allegations that he was too close to party donors, that he protected supporters from bullying and corruption allegations, and that he misled Parliament and was dishonest to the public about government office parties that broke pandemic lockdown rules.

Johnson would continue to remain in office until October as caretaker prime minister until a new Tory leader is elected.

Johnson, who won a landslide victory in the general elections in 2019, lost support after he was caught in a string of scandals, including the 'Party Gate' scandal.


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