Rishi Sunak has won the first round of voting by MPs to choose the next Conservative leader and prime minister. He got 88 votes, with Trade Ministe
Rishi Sunak has won the first round of voting by MPs to choose the next Conservative leader and prime minister. He got 88 votes, with Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt in second place on 67 and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss third on 50.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt were eliminated from the race.
Those still in the contest face another round of voting on Thursday.
After being eliminated from the race, the ex-Health Secretary said Mr Sunak had a “formidable ability” to deal with the challenging economy, but also said his character would suit the top job.
He said: “Rishi is one of the most decent straight people with the highest standards of integrity that I have ever met in British politics.
“And that’s why I would be proud to have him as my next Prime Minister.”
A total of six candidates made it through the first round of voting, with chair of the backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady revealing the number of MPs who had supported each of them.
However, while Mr Sunak leads the vote in the Commons, Ms Mordaunt has topped two polls of the wider Tory membership.
Mr Hunt only secured the backing of 18 MPs in the first round of voting on Wednesday, falling short of the threshold of 30.
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The race for the next Conservative leader is expected to be narrowed to two by the end of next week, and then around 160,000 Tory members decide which candidate they want to become the next party leader and Prime Minister.
The result will be announced on September 5.