LONDON: Rishi Sunak topped the second ballot of Conservative MPs in the Tory leadership race on Thursday with 101 votes, while the only other candidate of Indian descent in the race, Attorney General Suella Braverman, was knocked out of the contest.
minister of commerce Penny Mordaunt came in second with 83 votes, followed by Secretary of State Liz Truss with 64 votes. Former Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch came fourth with 49 votes and chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat came in fifth with 32 votes. These five candidates are through to the third round of voting, which will take place on Monday.
Sunak, the son-in-law of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, had topped the first round by 88 votes. But while he’s doing well with Tory MPs and is widely expected to make it to the last two candidates for party membership, a quick YouGov poll of Tory MPs — who will make the final call — found more support for Penny mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch then for Sunak. Mordaunt has now overtaken Sunak as the bookmakers’ favorite to become the next British Prime Minister.
Braverman, who pledged to take the UK out of the European Court of Human Rights, was eliminated after receiving the lowest number of votes with 27 votes. Her father has family roots in Nairobi and Goa while her mother, a Tamil, was born in Mauritius.
Lord Frost, the former head of Brexit negotiator, told Talk TV he had “serious reservations” about Mordaunt becoming the next prime minister, saying he didn’t feel she was strong enough to stand up for Brexit and create one. to make it a success.
“I’m quite surprised she is where she is in this leadership race,” he said, saying he didn’t feel she mastered the details needed when she was his deputy in the Brexit talks and often not responsible or visible. used to be.
Frost, who worked in the cabinet with Sunak, said: “Rishi is a very serious man and there is no doubt that he could do the job very well. Whether he is already providing the scale of economic change and change of course that is needed, I’m not sure yet.”
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, one of two candidates eliminated on Wednesday night, has now thrown his support behind the ex-chancellor, saying Sunak has “formidable skills”. “Rishi is one of the most decent, straight people with the highest standards of integrity I’ve ever met in British politics,” Hunt said.
Sunak was offended on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program over whether he was too “rich and slick” to be prime minister, as hardened Brits “now used dish soap instead of shampoo to wash their hair”. He replied, “I don’t judge people by their bank accounts. I judge them by their character and I think people can judge me by my actions. I believe in hard work and ambition. That’s my story – my parents worked incredibly hard, sacrificed a lot and gave opportunities to me and my brother and sister. I am proud of that and if I am Prime Minister I will stand up for those values.”
He said he supported Interior Minister Priti Patel’s plans to deport illegal immigrants to Rwanda. This country has a proud history of hospitable people. There is nothing ethical about letting people die in the canal,” he said, adding that he would only lower taxes responsibly as it was more important to tackle inflation. “I don’t cut taxes to win elections; I’m winning elections to lower taxes,” Sunak said.