UK PM Race: Rishi Sunak wins first round with five others

Indian-origin and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak emerged as the strongest contender to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister as he topped the ballot in the first round of voting.

Six candidates have proceeded to round two as newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt were eliminated after they failed to enlist the required backing of 30 Tory lawmakers, Xinhua reported. Sunak topped the first round with 88 votes, according to Graham Brady, chair of the Conservative Backbench 1922 Committee.

The other five survivors are International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt (67 votes), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (50 votes), former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch (40 votes); Backbench lawmaker Tom Tugendhat (37 votes) and Attorney General Suella Braverman (32 votes).

The second ballot is scheduled on Thursday and the 1922 Committee aims to whittle down the field to two candidates in successive rounds of voting before the British parliamentarians break up for the summer recess on July 21.

Image courtesy of (Image provi: The Stateman)

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