Rishi Sunak Gained an early advantage in the last race of Conservative Party leadership With the former chancellor garnering the support of at least 100 Conservative Party members and being assured that he will proceed to a ballot for party members next week if he announces his candidacy publicly.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood tweeted late Friday that he was “honored” to take Sunak to the three-figure threshold.
A maximum of three Conservative MPs will be able to run, as the party has set a maximum of 100 MPs for candidates to get on the ballot, and there are a total of 357 MPs in the party.
As of early Saturday, Benny Mordaunt was the only candidate to officially enter the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party, while newspapers reported that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was about to enter the fray.
According to Opinium’s poll, British voters favor Sunak and Mordaunt over Johnson as the next prime minister. When asked to choose between Sunak or Johnson, 44% chose Sunak, and 31% chose their former boss, according to research by Opinium Thursday night.
Below is a selection of reports from the newspapers as the race rages on.
Johnson has told his former aide James Dodridge he is ready to make a bid to return to 10th place, The Sun reports, adding that Johnson may hold talks on Saturday with Sunak to avoid another clash that could be harmful to the Conservative Party. “I’m back, Dodders,” Johnson was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “We will do this. I am ready for it.”
The newspaper’s main story said Sunak supporters were urging Johnson not to stand up, warning he would take the party into a “death spiral”. Sunak’s supporters say a second spell in 10th place for Johnson would be “disastrous” for the economy.
In its main editorial, The Times is once again shying away from endorsing a particular candidate – it backed Sunak over Truss in the summer run-off – but noted that the new leader should name ministers for their competence rather than mere loyalty. She said the next administration needs to ensure that promises are not over-delivered.
Johnson supports six Cabinet Ministers, including Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Northern Ireland Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, while Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg will go with #BorisOrBust.
Kimi Badenouch, the international trade secretary, and Suella Braverman, the former home secretary, are considering backing Johnson.
Former editor Charles Moore, a longtime supporter of Johnson, wrote that the former prime minister should “sit out of this position” in part because there is no evidence that in his tenure he was troubled by the state of the nation’s finances. Sunak has the best skills to guide the economy through the turmoil ahead.
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