British PM Race: contenders reduced to five
Lawmakers in the Conservative Party on Thursday pulled one of the six remaining contenders out of the contest to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned last week.
Who is out?
With 27 votes, Attorney General Suella Braverman had the fewest supporters among the contenders and was eliminated from the race. Centrist backbench lawmaker Tom Tugendhat, who got 32 votes, is being pressured to drop out but insists on fighting on in the race to number 10, Downing Street. The remaining contenders include; fast-rising former Equalities Minister, Kemi Badenoch; immediate past Treasury chief, Rishi Sunak; junior trade minister, Penny Mordaunt; and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
What are the polls saying?
Sunak got the most votes, 101, and is closely followed by Mordaunt with 83, and Truss, with 64 votes. Bookmaker Ladbrokes, however, said Mordaunt was now the favorite to win the race for Britain’s top job, despite coming second in the latest round of voting, behind Rishi Sunak. The candidates are expected to appear in televised candidates debates today, Sunday, and Monday.
When is the next vote?
Voting by the 358 Tory lawmakers is expected to resume Monday, and continue until only two candidates remain. The final two will then contend in a runoff vote by about 180,000 Conservative Party members across the country. The winner is scheduled to be announced on September 5 and will become the leader of the party and Prime Minister.
A former investment banker and husband to the daughter of the billionaire founder of Indian tech company Infosys, Sunak has faced dislike from those who alleged that he is out of touch with ordinary people’s struggles because of his wealth. But he insists that he doesn’t judge people by their bank accounts. “I judge them by their characters,” Sunak told the BBC.