Former Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak maintains his lead in the race for Britain’s next prime minister.
Former UK Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak has maintained its lead in the race for Britain’s next prime minister as another hopeful was eliminated, leaving four candidates in an increasingly fierce competition to succeed Boris Johnson.
Sunak got 115 votes in Monday’s third round of Conservative MPs, ahead of former Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt at 82 and Secretary of State Liz Truss at 71.
Son Johnson said he will resign Earlier this month – after his scandal-ridden government lost the support of many in his ruling Conservative Party – the race to succeed him took an ugly turn as several contenders turned their fire on Sunak, the front runner.
He has been criticized on everything from his record in government to his wife’s wealth, by those vying to make it a runoff between the last two candidates, with Foreign Secretary Truss and Mordaunt, currently junior trade secretary, his most likely opponents are.
Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat, a former soldier and Johnson critic who has never played a role in government, was ousted from the leadership contest on Monday after receiving the fewest votes, 31 votes.
Former Equal Opportunities Minister Kemi Badenoch finished fourth with 58 votes.
Attorney General and right winger Suella Braverman, who was eliminated from the competition last week, had sided with Truss.
However, this confirmation was not enough to push the foreign minister into second place.
The vote came after another busy day of campaigning, despite public concerns about the growing division within the party over the contest.
Most notable on Monday was the accusation that Mordaunt missed ministerial meetings because she was planning her bid for the leadership.
The trade minister’s absence from the meetings forced colleagues to pick up the pieces, international trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan previously claimed.
In a sign of concern over the way the race for the lead is being conducted, Sunak and Truss confirmed they did not want to attend a Sky News debate scheduled for Tuesday – prompting the broadcaster to cancel the show.
“Conservative MPs should be concerned about the damage the debates are doing to the image of the Conservative Party by revealing disagreements and divisions within the party,” Sky said in a statement.
Labor leader Keir Starmer said he was “amazed” by the candidates’ withdrawal from the debate, arguing that it showed a lack of confidence.
“I can see, based on what I’ve seen in the debates so far, why they want to do that, because this party has no ideas, no intention, they’re tearing each other apart,” he told reporters at a central London bank.
The 358 MPs from the ruling Conservative Party will narrow the field down to the last two this week and hold votes that each time eliminate the candidate with the fewest votes. The results of the next poll are due Tuesday at 14:00 GMT.
There will then be a new prime minister announced on 5.9after the 200,000 Conservative Party members cast absentee ballots over the summer.