Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are the final contenders in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as UK Prime Minister

Johnson resign as party leader earlier this month following a series of scandals that led to the resignation of dozens of ministers. Ten Conservatives stood in the running to replace him, and over five rounds of voting, members of parliament reduced these to two.

Sunak won 137 votes and Truss got 113 votes in the final round, while Penny Mordaunt with 105 votes lost.

Both candidates eventually took to Twitter to comment on the results.

“Grateful that my colleagues have put their trust in me today. I will work day and night to get our message across the country,” Sunak tweeted.

For his part, Truss tweeted: “Thank you for placing your trust in me. I was ready to start running from day one.”

Now about 160,000 won Party ranks will have their say and in September the winner – and next prime minister – will be announced.

Both finalist two candidates in the Conservative leadership contest served in Johnson’s government, and could therefore be affected by the scandals that brought Johnson down.

The first is Johnson’s whipping of his members of parliament in defense of a political ally found to have violated lobbying rules, and ends with revelations that Johnson has appointed Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Pincher, a man who has been accused of sexual assault multiple times.

The best known scandal is “Partygate”, in which Johnson and several political allies – including Sunak – were fined by police for violating government Covid-19 restrictions. This makes Johnson the first prime minister in history to be found guilty of breaking the law while in office.

The task facing the final two candidates is big enough, with the UK suffering a cost-of-living crisis and the Conservative Party increasingly unpopular after 12 years in power. And as soon as the new leader takes over, the opposition Labor Party will only be ready to remind whoever succeeds Johnson that they are part of that government.

Extreme heat is cooking a country miserable because it is not prepared for the climate crisis

On Wednesday, Johnson attended the Prime Minister’s Final Questions session in the House of Commons. He bragged about his government’s response to the pandemic and his support for Ukraine in defending against Russia.

“We helped, I helped, get this country through the pandemic and help save another country from barbarism. And honestly, that’s enough to go on. The mission has largely been done. done,” Johnson said. “I want to thank everyone here and hasta la vista, honey.”

The final lap of the lead race comes amid a record heatwave that has sparked bushfires and highlights the UK’s thorough preparation for the climate emergency and the necessity of urgent measures to limit carbon emissions.

Here’s what you need to know about the final two contenders:

Sunak served as the UK's finance minister from 2020-2022.

Rishi Sunak

Sunak has been considered a leader for a long time. He served as the Premier of Johnson’s Exchequer (financial minister) from 2020 to 2022, and gained active public interest after introducing common measures during the coronavirus pandemic, such as an eating plan. and discounts when dining at restaurants.

Recently, he has come under pressure over questions regarding the tax status of his wife, Akshata Murthy, a multi-millionaire living in India.

Some Conservatives worry that Sunak finds this level of scrutiny difficult and fear that he will come under pressure as prime minister.

Even so, he has consistently led the group among Conservative MPs in the first rounds of voting.

Big blow to Boris Johnson as two senior UK government ministers resign

Polling Conservative Party members can be difficult, especially at such tumultuous times, but in the polls that have taken place, Sunak has consistently placed second behind Truss in number of party members.

Even when he comes to power, he will have to weather criticism from political enemies. Opposition leaders will be quick to remind Sunak that he was fined at the Partygate event just like Johnson.

They will also ask why Sunak has remained loyal to Johnson for so long, only to resign in the wake of a scandal involving the beating of Johnson’s chief, Chris Pincher.

Things get worse when you consider Johnson loyalists who believe Sunak’s resignation was the moment when Johnson’s position as prime minister began to crumble.

So while Sunak may be the frontrunner, he will be surrounded by enemies on all sides.

Truss is currently the UK's foreign minister.

Liz Truss

Truss also had an association problem with Johnson. She is still serving as Johnson’s secretary of state and will do so until he leaves office in September. She has sided with her leadership throughout all of his scandals, justifying that the fact that she didn’t resign over the Pincher scandal because she was coordinating the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That explanation may work for some, however, Truss is also largely seen by Conservatives as the candidate to succeed Johnson. Among her main supporters are some of Johnson’s most loyal allies, which could make it difficult to separate herself from the current Prime Minister.

It would also be difficult to move away from Johnson’s policies. Truss, who voted for the UK to stay in the European Union, has been a supporter of Brexiteer since the 2016 referendum.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss kicks off the prime ministerial bid

Since Johnson took office, she has been his secretary of commerce and secretary of foreign affairs. As a former, she has been as vocal as Johnson about each and every trade deal struck, even those that were simply transfer agreements from the UK’s time in the EU.

She is also a staunch supporter of Johnson’s plan to rewrite a controversial part of the Brexit deal, the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Truss spent much of his time in high office building a power base and was very popular with MPs and the Conservatives.

Sunak and Truss will now spend the summer campaigning for Conservative party members before the party announces its winners on September 5.

Johnson will then step down as Queen, his successor will then visit and be invited to form a government.

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