Rishi Sunak tops second round to beat Boris Johnson as UK PM

Rishi Sunak secured the highest number of votes in the second round of voting.


Former finance minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday consolidated his lead over rivals to become Britain’s next prime minister in an increasingly bitter race to replace Boris Johnson.

Sunak, whose exit from the Treasury last week was one of a cascade of resignations that forced Johnson to step down, despite being blamed by some for his role in Johnson’s downfall at the forefront of Conservative lawmakers Used to be.

She faces competition from a junior trade minister, Penny Mordant, and foreign minister Liz Truss, who had previously launched her official campaign, arguing that she was the only contender with experience in making “difficult decisions”.

There are now five hopefuls after pro-Brexit Attorney General Suella Braverman pulled out of the race on Thursday after failing to reach the 30-vote threshold in the second round.

Whoever gets the job will face a lull in inflation and low economic growth, as well as a lack of public confidence in politics after Johnson came to power.

After maintaining his lead, Sunak thanked his supporters, and said on Twitter: “I’m ready to give my all in the service of my country. Together we can restore trust, rebuild our economy.” And can unite the country again.”

Earlier, he took to the airwaves to say that his first economic priority would be to tackle high inflation, not the tax cuts made by his rivals.

Truss, the last hope to launch his official campaign, is the latest to promise to restore confidence in politics, trying to distance itself from increasingly personal and bitter briefings and counter-briefings from opposing camps.

Truss said, “I will campaign as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative. I can lead, I can make tough decisions and I can do things. I will be prime minister from day one.” I’m ready.”

Asked why he didn’t resign when support for Johnson disappeared last week, he said: “I am a loyal man. I am loyal to Boris Johnson.”

still a way

The remainder – including former Equality Minister Chemi Badenoch and the chairman of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee Tom Tugendhat – will face a third round of voting by conservative members of parliament on Monday.

If all candidates reach the 30-vote barrier, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated from the contest. Subsequent ballots will eliminate the candidate receiving the fewest votes each time, narrowing the fray to the last two by July 21.

The new leader will then be chosen by the country’s 200,000 Conservative Party members and will be announced on 5 September.

Sunak may be the most popular contender with his allies, but a YouGov poll of nearly 900 party members found that Mordont was the favorite, beating any others in a run-off. She had a massive edge over Sunak, who performed poorly against almost all her rivals, and is now a bookmaker’s favorite.

Britain’s economy is beset by rapidly rising inflation, high debt and low growth, which has put people under the most pressure on their finances in decades. Fuel prices have soared due to energy shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.

The leadership campaign is offering a glimpse into the difficulties facing the new prime minister and the rift within the party. Mordant dismissed criticism from former Brexit negotiator David Frost that she was insufficiently strict towards the EU.

“It is fitting that we (candidates) receive criticism… I am seeking the confidence of the British people for the highest job in the country,” Tugendhat, who finished fifth in the second round of voting, told reporters. ,

“When you’re asking a big question you should do an expert investigation and expect to present yourself to answer the questions.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)