Facing MPs in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson stood said proud of his record on Wednesday.
Only six candidates remain in the running on Wednesday to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after a first round of voting in which Conservative MPs placed ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak in the lead.
Nearly a week after Boris Johnson's resignation was announced, swept away by a series of scandals, two of the eight suitors have been eliminated from the race to succeed him as leader of the Conservative Party and Downing Street .
Ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, whose resignation last week helped spark a haemorrhage of departures within the executive branch, has dropped out 88 votes, according to results reported by Graham Brady, who heads the internal ballot organizing committee.
Ex-British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.
As for her, although she is little known to the general public, Secretary of State for International Trade Penny Mordaunt is on the rise, coming in at number two with 67 votes.
And in third place is Foreign Minister Liz Truss, who received 50 votes.
A second round is due to be held on Thursday, with the goal of deciding the two finalists before the end of next week. The winner, elected by party members, should be known on September 5.
According to a YouGov poll published on Wednesday and carried out among Conservative voters, Penny Mordaunt would arrive in head of the voting intentions and would beat all his rivals in the event of a duel.
Penny Mordaunt is considered Rishi Sunak's main opponent in the leadership race.
En launching her campaign on Wednesday, Ms Mordaunt compared the Tories to Beatles legend Paul McCartney at the Glastonbury Festival.
“We indulged in all these new tunes, but what we really wanted was the good old hit we had. We knew the words: low tax, reduced state [and] personal responsibility.
— Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Trade
The other candidates still in the running, mostly largely unknown to the general public, are MP Tom Tugendhat, Government Legal Adviser Suella Braverman and ex-Equality Secretary Kemi Badenoch .
As for new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi and former health minister Jeremy Hunt, both were eliminated on Wednesday.
Mr Johnson resigned on July 7 after around 60 members of his executive walked out, tired of repeated scandals and his lies. However, he remains Prime Minister until his successor is known.
Facing MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday, he said he was proud of his balance sheet. It is absolutely true that I am leaving at a time that I did not choose, he regretted during the weekly session of questions in front of Parliament, which was particularly rowdy.
“I leave with my head held high”
—Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In this marathon campaign as bitter as it is unpredictable, the candidates work hard to convince the deputies in meetings which take place behind closed doors. Several were thus auditioned on Wednesday by Conservative MPs. Several televised debates are also scheduled for the next few days.
The campaign, which is aimed only at members of the Conservative Party, is clearly marked on the right and gathers its share of blows stockings and polemics.
Among the heavyweights, Rishi Sunak is the subject of virulent attacks from Camp Johnson who accuses him of having led the Prime Minister to his downfall by launching the wave of resignations on July 4.
Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, a staunch supporter of Boris Johnson, thus called him a former socialist chancellor.
An accusation he rejects by retorting that his economic approach is a matter of Thatcherite common sense, in reference to the former ultraliberal Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson's faithful prefer another Thatcher admirer: Liz Truss, who remained in government despite the massive hemorrhage last week. lives, with UK households strangled by inflation at 9.1%, even as the country's GDP rebounded 0.5% in May.
This motion was refused by the government, considering it inappropriate to vote against a resigning prime minister.