With more than 100 MPs backing him up, British Conservative Party politician Rishi Sunak in an early lead in the latest race for the party leadership.This comes after United Kingdom prime minister Liz Truss announced her resignation earlier this week after just 44 days in office.
The former finance minister of the UK is yet to officially announce his candidacy and only a maximum of three Tory MPs will be allowed to run given there are a total of 357 MPs in the party. According to reports, if his opponents fail to secure this minimum 100-vote nomination Sunak will automatically become the party leader as well as the next UK PM.
Meanwhile, Penny Mordaunt, another MP of the conservative party is the only one who has formally announced her candidacy, as of late Saturday, “I’ve been encouraged by support of my colleagues who want a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest”, said Mordaunt in a statement.
On Thursday, a poll by Opinium showed that UK voters would prefer Sunak and Mordaunt over Johnson as the next PM as over 40% of people voted for the former finance minister. This comes amid reports of Boris Johnson cutting short his holiday in the Caribbean and saying he is “up for” running for party leadership.
Reports suggest that the Tory MPs will vote on Monday before a possible online ballot for party members next week. The results will be announced on October 28. A YouGov poll shows that three in five voters in Britain want an early general election while over 50% have opposed the return of former PM Johnson for the race.
This vote also comes amid the growing calls for an early general election by the opposition Labour Party in the UK as the country continues to struggle with the worsening cost-of-living crisis.