Indian-origin Rishi Sunak tops race to become UK’s next PM

New Delhi: Former finance minister and Indian-origin Rishi Sunak garnered the biggest support from Conservative MPs in the first vote on Wednesday that elected Boris Johnson as the party’s leader and British Prime Minister. who will replace him, while two more rivals are eliminated.

Sunak, whose resignation as finance minister last week helped Johnson’s downfall, won the support of 88 of the party’s 358 members of parliament (MPs), junior trade minister Penny Mordent second with 67 votes, and foreign minister. Liz Truss finished third.

Nadim Jahvi, who sunk took over as finance minister last week, and former foreign minister Jeremy Hunt were ousted after failing to get the required minimum of 30 votes. He joins three other contenders who were eliminated the day before.

The remainder – including former Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch, Attorney General Suella Braverman, Parliament’s foreign affairs committee chair Tom Tugendhat – will go through a second round on Thursday.

Subsequent ballots will be held between Conservative MPs, narrowing the fray to the last two by July 21, eliminating the candidate with the fewest votes each time. The new leader would then be chosen from among those two by 200,000 Conservative Party members. country at large, and will be announced on September 5.

While Sunak may have been the most popular contender along with his allies, a YouGov poll of nearly 900 party members found that Mordont was the favourite, beating out any of the others in a run-off.
He had a massive edge over Sunak, who performed poorly against almost all his rivals, and is now a favorite of bookmakers.

Whoever wins will face a challenging in-tray while rebuilding public trust from a series of scandals involving Johnson, despite allegations of sexual misconduct ranging from breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules Till the government appoints an MP.

The UK economy is facing severe inflation, high debt and low growth, leaving people with the most pressure on their finances in decades. It is all set against the backdrop of the energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, which has driven up fuel prices.

As the competition intensifies, it is also increasingly fracturing as rival camps disrupt business and some offer a series of lucrative tax cut pledges.