Former finance minister Rishi Sunak and foreign minister Liz Truss will compete to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Former finance minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will battle to be Britain’s next prime minister after they win the final vote among Conservative MPs, setting up the final stage of the contest to replace the former leader. Boris Johnson.
Johnson was forced to resign this month after he lost the support of lawmakers after months of scandals, including violations of rules to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Grateful to my colleagues who put their trust in me today. I will work day and night to get our message across the country,” Sunak posted on Twitter Wednesday.
Sunak has taken the lead in all rounds of voting among Conservative lawmakers but it is Truss that seems to have gained the edge so far among the Conservatives. 200,000 members of the host party, who will ultimately choose the winner.
Grateful to my colleagues who put their trust in me today.
I will work day and night to get our message across the country.
– Ready for Rishi (@RishiSunak) July 20, 2022
Truss also took to social media to thank her supporters saying she was “ready to hit the ground running from day one”.
Eleven candidates had initially named their names but in the fifth and final vote of Conservative lawmakers on Wednesday, junior Commerce Secretary Penny Mordaunt was eliminated. Sunak won 137 votes, compared to Truss’s 113 and Mordaunt’s 105.
Whoever wins when the results are announced on September 5 will inherit some of the toughest economic conditions in Britain in decades. Inflation will of course hit 11% annually, growth is stalling, industrial activity is picking up and the pound is near historic lows against the dollar.
Britain under Johnson, and backed by Truss, also took a hard line against Brussels in the post-Brexit negotiations around Northern Ireland, soliciting legal action from the European Union and threatening legal action. future commercial relationship.
Polls suggest Truss will beat Sunak in the party race, opening the door for the party to elect a leader who is not the most popular choice for MPs in Westminster.
Regardless of who wins, Britain is now guaranteed to get its first black prime minister or third female leader.
Sunak and Truss now take their case to the Conservatives, who will decide the new leader and prime minister after a series of nationwide scandals in August.
Sunak’s resignation as finance minister this month has helped overthrow outgoing leader Johnson after months of scandals including “Partygate”, and Downing Street reportedly running an “anyone but Rishi” campaign.
In a hint of support for Truss’ low-tax background, the prime minister urged his successor to “cut taxes and deregulate where you can to make this a place to live and best investment”.
Sunak, who has helped steer the economy through the pandemic, may not find a forgiving crowd among party members with many blaming him for causing Johnson’s downfall with resignation earlier this month.
He has also faced criticism for everything from his achievements in government to his wife’s wealth.
Truss may also struggle with Sunak, who is more comfortable with public appearances. On Sunday, she admitted she might not be “the most skillful presenter” but “when I say I’m going to do something, I’ll do it”.