Rishi Sunak has taken an early lead in the recent Conservative leader election. The former prime minister has secured the support of at least 100 of his Conservative MPs, ensuring that he will advance to next week’s referendum if he publicly declares his candidacy.
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Tory MP Tobias Ellwood tweeted late Friday that he was “honored” to bring Sunak up to the triple-digit threshold.
The party has set a threshold of 100 MP for candidates to participate in the ballot, and the party has a total of 357 MPs, so up to three Conservative MPs can stand.
Earlier Saturday, Penny Mordaunt was the only candidate to formally join the race for Tory leadership, with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to join the fray, the newspaper reported.
British voters would prefer Snak and Mordant over Johnson as the next prime minister, according to Opinium poll. , 44% chose Sunak and 31% chose their former boss.
Below are excerpts from newspaper reports as the race heats up.
Johnson told former aide James Dudridge that he was ready to start a bid to return to 10th place. “We are going to do this. I am ready to do it.”
The newspaper’s lead story reported that Sunak’s supporters urged Johnson not to stand up, warning that he would send the party into a “death spiral”. Snack’s supporters say it would be “devastating” for the economy if Johnson took his 10th spot for his second time.
The Times again avoids endorsing any particular candidate in its main op-ed — it favored Snack over Truss in the summer runoff — but the new leader isn’t just about loyalty, it’s about them. The next administration should avoid overpromising or underpromising, it said.
Six Cabinet members, including Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton Harris, have backed Johnson, while Economy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has backed #BorisOrBust.
International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenok and former Interior Secretary Suera Braverman are considering backing Johnson.
Former editor Charles Moore, one of Johnson’s longtime supporters, wrote that the former prime minister should “let this sit”. Snak has great skills in navigating the economy in the turmoil ahead.