Thursday, August 18, 2022

Rishi Sunak on winning streak as 5 left in UK PM race

Next few rounds of voting among Conservative Party members of Parliament to whittle this list down to just two by next Thursday is scheduled for early next week

Former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has bagged 101 votes to again emerge as the winner of the latest voting round on Thursday, July 14, as he tightened his grip on the race to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and British prime minister, a report in The Tribune, Chandigarh says.

There are now five candidates left in the Tory leadership contest after Suella Braverman, the Indian-origin Attorney General in the fray, was knocked off the shortlist with the least votes at 27.

Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt (83 votes), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (64 votes), former minister Kemi Badenoch (49 votes) and Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat (32 votes) remain on the ballot in the narrowing race after the second round of votes were cast by lawmakers.

The next few rounds of voting among Conservative Party members of Parliament to whittle this list down to just two by next Thursday is scheduled for early next week. 

In first round leads with 88 votes; 2 rivals knocked out

On Wednesday, Sunak extended his lead with the highest number of votes at 88 in the first round of voting by Conservative Party MPs, which narrowed down the race from eight to six candidates on the shortlist.

Newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former Cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt are out of the race after not being able to attract the requisite votes of at least 30 MPs, at 25 and 18 backers respectively.

While Sunak, 42, has maintained a steady lead among his Tory parliamentary colleagues since he declared his intention to run for party leadership last week, the Conservative Party membership base which will have the final say seems to be building momentum behind Penny Mordaunt.

Sunak, Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy’s son-in-law, told the BBC he feels “great” about the result of the first round of voting.

At this early stage of the contest, the race seems to be narrowing down into a three-way Sunak, Mordaunt and Liz Truss clash, but the field is still seen as wide open.

The process will then be taken over by the Conservative Party headquarters to organise a series of hustings in different parts of the UK for the final two to pitch their campaign pledges to the estimated 200,000 Conservative Party membership.

The candidate who receives the most votes will be elected the new Conservative Party and British Prime Minister leader on September 5, taking over from Boris Johnson.

Sunak says judge me on my record, not my wealth

Rishi Sunak, a leading candidate to replace Boris Johnson as Britain’s prime minister, dismissed suggestions on Thursday that he was too rich to run the country during an economic downturn, saying he had the experience to take on tough challenges.

Sunak, the former finance minister whose resignation last week helped to trigger the fall of Johnson’s government, said he did not judge people by their bank accounts, he judged them by their character and hoped others would do the same.

Asked if he understood the financial pressures in the country, he told BBC Radio: “When the pandemic hit, I understood full well the impact it could have on millions of people up and down the country.”

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