Race to succeed Boris Johnson: Sunak still in the lead

Race to the succession of Boris Johnson: Sunak still in the lead

Rishi Sunak maintains his lead in the third round of voting.

Britain's ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak extended his lead in the race to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, after Tory MPs voted again in a campaign where tension led to the cancellation of a televised debate.

According to the results announced by Graham Brady, responsible for organizing the internal election, Rishi Sunak obtained 115 votes from Conservative MPs in this third round of voting. Two final rounds are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The fight to qualify for the final head-to-head – which will be decided by the vote of activists – has tightened between Secretary of State for International Trade Penny Mordaunt ( 82 votes) and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (71 votes).

Ex-Equality Secretary Kemi Badenoch came in fourth with 58 votes, while Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat was eliminated, with 31 votes.

Following a tense debate between these five candidates on Sunday evening, the Sky News channel announced on Monday the cancellation of the debate scheduled for Tuesday evening, due to the refusal of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to 'participate.

According to the channel's website, the prospect of a third live debate has Conservative MPs fearing that exposing disagreements between candidates will weaken the majority .

Sunday evening, the second debate of the campaign gave rise to more animated exchanges than the first, at the start of a decisive week, where only the two finalists will remain in the race who will be decided by the 200,000 party members during of a postal vote. The result is expected on September 5.

The head of diplomacy, Liz Truss, deemed unconvincing during the first debate on Friday, set the tone on Sunday evening by attacking her former colleague in government Rishi Sunak from her first speeches, accusing her of having led the country into recession. by raising taxes when he was in charge of finance.

Ex-Minister of Defense Penny Mordaunt also attacked the former Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject, she who suggested borrowing to face the cost crisis strangling British households, with record inflation at 9.1% in May.

This is socialism, Rishi Sunak fired back. Even [the former leader of the opposition] Jeremy Corbyn would not have gone so far!, he launched, thus returning a qualifier which had been attached to him by a faithful of Boris Johnson. Ms. Truss and Mr. Sunak have been at loggerheads since the start of the campaign.

The 46-year-old candidate is the darling of Camp Johnson, who believe Mr Sunak had been biding his time for months before stepping down on July 4, hastening the premier's downfall. What supporters of Rishi Sunak deny.

Going on the offensive, Liz Truss tried to catch up, having been relegated in the first two rounds of voting to third place behind Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak, whose the presence in the final does not seem to be in doubt.

According to an Opinium poll of a thousand people on Sunday evening, Rishi Sunak achieved the best performance (24% of respondents), ahead of Tom Tugendhat (19%), Penny Mordaunt (17%), Liz Truss (15%) and Kemi Badenoch (12%).

During a last-ditch speech to MPs before a vote of confidence in the government, Boris Johnson said he was proud of the work of the executive these last three years.

Organized on the initiative of the government for technical reasons, this vote was unsurprisingly won by the executive in the evening, thanks to the clear majority enjoyed by the Conservatives in the House of Commons.

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