UNITED KINGDOM: Rishi Sunak, a British politician, is in the lead in the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister after reaching the minimum threshold needed to enter the race late Friday.
93 Conservative MPs have so far endorsed the former chancellor, but a campaign source said he had already received the 100 MP nominations required to enter the competition.
The former British prime minister, Boris Johnson, who was in the Caribbean, has cut short his holiday to take part in the accelerated contest. He is currently in second place with 44 supporters and is ready to run for Liz Truss’s position.
Penny Mordaunt, a cabinet member, was the first to formally declare her candidacy; she has 21 supporters so far.
A second leadership election, a fresh start
Prime Minister Liz Truss’s sudden resignation prompted a second leadership election for the UK’s ruling party.
As the re-election is about to happen, supporters have come forward to back up their desirable candidates. Even though Sunak and Johnson’s campaigns have not yet been formally announced, their supporters have not stopped endorsing them.
One of Johnson’s closest allies in parliament, James Duddridge, read out a WhatsApp message from Johnson to confirm his bid: “I’m flying back, Dudders. We are going to do this. I’m up for it.”
Duddridge, the trade minister, who supports Johnson, said: “He is coming home and is up for it.” He further added that Johnson had “momentum and support.”
“He is the only election victory we have who has a demonstrated track record in London, on Brexit, and in earning the mandate we have now,” declared Duddridge.
Kemi Badenoch, the minister for international trade, and Suella Braverman, a former minister of the interior, are reportedly considering supporting Johnson in a move that might unite the Tory party’s right.
Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith has also come forward to show his support for Jhonson. He claimed the reason for Johnson’s not formally confirming his campaign was that “he’s probably waiting to see whether he felt he’d got the support.” I’d say he’s certainly up for it. “
On the other hand, Sunak also received support from his backers, including some senior colleagues, such as former chancellor and health secretary Sajid Javid, security minister Tom Tugendhat, and former health secretary Matt Hancock.
According to Javid, Rishi Sunak is the ideal candidate to lead our party and move the nation forward. “It is abundantly clear that Rishi Sunak has what it takes to match the challenges we face,” he said.
Another supporter, Tobias Ellwood, claimed to be the 100th Member of Parliament to back Sunak, saying: “Time for a centrist, stable, financially prudent government offering credible domestic and international leadership.”
Meanwhile, the current leader of the House of Commons, Mordaunt, announced her candidacy earlier and claimed that colleagues had encouraged her to do so. She vowed to “unite our country, deliver on our promises, and win the next [general election].”
Conservative MP Bob Seely, who supports Penny Mordaunt, stated that “I think we owe the country a collective responsibility to apologise” and that he thinks Ms Mordaunt has the best opportunity to foster “unity and leadership” within the party.
Whoever succeeds will have a steep hill to climb to rebuild the party’s reputation.
Political scientist John Curtice said that it is “very dubious” whether a change in leadership will be sufficient to give the Conservatives true electoral credibility.