Race to Downing Street: Rishi Sunak in the lead, ahead of Penny Mordaunt

Race at Downing Street: Rishi Sunak in the lead, ahead of Penny Mordaunt

Rishi Sunak is one of the favorites to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Former British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak was once again put in the lead by Conservative MPs on Thursday in the second round of internal voting to choose Prime Minister Boris Johnson's successor, ahead of poll favorite Penny Mordaunt.

Rishi Sunak, 42, garnered 101 votes, ahead of Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Penny Mordaunt (83 votes) and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, third with 64 votes.

Attorney General – responsible for providing legal advice to the government – Suella Braverman (27 votes) was eliminated, while ex-Equality Secretary Kemi Badenoch and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Tom Tugendhat remain in the race, with 49 and 32 votes respectively.

Further rounds of voting are scheduled for next week to decide the two finalists before the truce Parliament of July 21. They will be decided during a postal vote reserved for party members only, the result of which must be announced on September 5. They were 160,000 to have taken part in this election in 2019.

A week after the announcement of Boris Johnson's resignation, swept away by cascading departures within a scandal-weary government, Ms Mordaunt, a 49-year-old former defense minister, would beat all her rivals in a final duel, according to a YouGov poll.

The governance of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been marked by a series of scandals.

If on the right of the party criticism has so far focused on Rishi Sunak, some denouncing a socialist responsible for the downfall of Boris Johnson, it is Penny Mordaunt that the blows are now aimed at.

In a vitriolic campaign, some tories now consider her positions too woke, having declared that trans women are women when she was Secretary of State for Equality.

Since becoming a candidate, Penny Mordaunt has however completely changed her speech, even attempting a transphobic joke during her launch rally on Wednesday.

I think it was Margaret Thatcher who said everyone needed a Willie [Whitelaw, the former prime minister's number two]. A woman like me doesn't have one, she said, to peals of laughter. In English, willy also means penis.

Eliminated on Thursday, Suella Braverman criticized her opponent for not having defended women and not having reflected the opinion of a large part of our party that wants women to be authentically represented. According to Sky News, she has made it known that she will be supporting Liz Truss.

David Frost, the former Brexit negotiator, for his part questioned her professional qualities when she worked for him, expressing on the Talk TV channel serious reservations about her ability to lead the country.

< p class="e-p">Some conservatives still see it as the best option to turn the page on the Johnson era and its share of scandals. But only 11% of Britons are able to name her by seeing her face, according to a Savanta ComRes study. Some even confuse her with the singer Adèle, but her notoriety is growing, according to another YouGov poll.

Despite criticism , Penny Mordaunt enjoys strong support among the Conservatives.

Another serious candidate, the head of diplomacy Liz Truss launched her campaign on Thursday, supported by the Johnson camp. I will campaign like a conservative and I will govern like a conservative, proclaimed the 46-year-old minister who did not however register Thursday during the new round of voting the decisive rebound hoped for by postponement of votes .

For his part, former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, eliminated on Wednesday, decided to support Rishi Sunak, one of the most correct people, straight and upright in politics.

He said he was extremely grateful for the support of his colleagues who put him ahead in both rounds.

Rishi Sunak cultivates a slick image, but was criticized because of his wealth and the tax status of his wealthy wife. Its detractors also accuse it of not having done enough to relieve households strangled by the cost of living crisis while inflation, 9.1% in May, broke records.< /p>

I don't judge people on their bank account, I judge them on their person, retorted the person concerned on the BBC.

Among the five candidates still in the running are three women, a black contender and a person of Indian origin. This historical diversity, in a country that has never known a non-white head of government, is a non-issue in the campaign, spared for the moment from racist or sexist controversies.

< p class="e-p">Three televised debates are scheduled for the next few days; the first will take place on Friday evening.

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