New Delhi: Indian-origin Rishi Sunak, who lost to former Liz Truss in the PM race after Boris Johnson resigned earlier this year, is nearing the 100 MP nominations threshold required to enter the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister. So far, the former chancellor has around 93 endorsements from Tory MPs, but a campaign source confirmed a threshold of 100 to get on the ballot paper, reported BBC News.
Former leader Boris Johnson stands second in the race with 44 supporters and flying back from a Caribbean holiday to drum up support in the race to succeed Truss. Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons, has garnered the support of 21 leaders so far.
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Liz Truss resigned as the Prime Minister Of the UK after just 45 days of taking over following economic turmoil and resignation of two key ministers. Truss has become the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British history — less than 50 days — as Britain looks to get its fourth PM in three years.
Trade Minister Sir James Duddridge told BBC News that the former PM is coming home and ready for the leadership battle. Sunak and Johnson are yet to officially launch their campaigns, but this has prevented their backers from extending their support. Mordaunt is the first one to announce her entry into the Tory leadership race.
Johnson, who is returning from a holiday in the Dominican Republic, is due to arrive in London on Saturday. On his flight back to London, some people who tried to take selfies were stopped from doing so by the security team.
Now, all eyes will be on whether the former PM makes a statement when he lands.
Johnson has managed to gain support in his bid to return to Downing Street despite critics warning that he risks plunging the Conservatives into fresh chaos over the impending parliamentary inquiry into the Partygate scandal.
Johnson’s supporters claimed that he had “momentum and support”. Duddridge said: “He is the only election winner we have that has a proven track record in London, on Brexit, and in gaining the mandate we have now.”
Meanwhile, sources from Sunak’s campaign confirmed he reached the 100 nominations mark to enter the race.
Sunak secured support from a number of senior colleagues, including former chancellor and health secretary Sajid Javid, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat and former health secretary Matt Hancock.
“It is abundantly clear that Rishi Sunak has what it takes to match the challenges we face – he is the right person to lead our party and take the country forward,” Javid said.
Tobias Ellwood, said he was the 100th MP to endorse Sunak, saying: “Time for centrist, stable, fiscally responsible government offering credible domestic & international leadership.”
Britain will get its fifth Conservative prime minister elected within a period of six years by October 28.