Suella Braverman knocked out of leadership race to become UK PM in second round of voting; Rishi Sunak cemented his lead
There are now five hopefuls.
Britain’s Attorney General Suella Braverman leaves after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London on February 8, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
FORMER finance minister Rishi Sunak cemented his lead over rivals to become Britain’s next prime minister on Thursday (14) in an increasingly bitter race to replace Boris Johnson.
Sunak, whose exit from the Treasury last week was one of the first in a cascade of resignations that forced Johnson to quit, has been the frontrunner among Conservative lawmakers despite being blamed by some for his role in Johnson’s downfall.
He faces competition from Penny Mordaunt, a junior trade minister, and foreign minister Liz Truss, who launched her official campaign earlier arguing she was the only contender with the experience to take the “tough decisions” needed.
There are now five hopefuls, after Brexit supporter Attorney General Suella Braverman was knocked out of the race on Thursday for failing to reach the 30-vote threshold in the second round.
Whoever gets the job will take on rocketing inflation and low economic growth, as well as the public’s lack of confidence in politics after Johnson’s scandal-ridden time in power.
After maintaining his lead Sunak thanked his supporters, and said on Twitter: “I am prepared to give everything I have in service to our nation. Together we can restore trust, rebuild our economy and reunite the country.”
Earlier, he took to the airwaves to say his first economic priority would be tackling high inflation, not the tax cuts pledged by his rivals.
Truss, the last hopeful to launch her official campaign, is the latest to also promise to restore trust in politics, trying to distance herself from the increasingly personal and bitter briefings and counter-briefings from the opposing camps.
“I will campaign as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative. I can lead, I can make tough decisions and I can get things done. I am ready to be prime minister from day one,” Truss said.
Asked why she did not resign when support disappeared for Johnson prompting last week’s resignation, she said: “I’m a loyal person. I’m loyal to Boris Johnson.”