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The final three PA
Yes Minister

UK's next PM: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will go head-to-head in Tory leadership vote

Former Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt lost out by just eight votes.

LAST UPDATE | 20 Jul 2022

RISHI SUNAK AND Liz Truss are set to face off in a vote to become the UK’s next Prime Minister after a fractious campaign of voting among Tory MPs.

Sunak garnered the most votes during the contest, with 137 Tory MPs supporting him to become the next Prime Minister while Liz Truss had the support of 113.

It comes after third place Penny Mordaunt was eliminated in the final ballot of MPs, with 105 MPs supporting her.

Sunak’s campaign has said that he had secured a “clear mandate” from Tory MPs and that he would be working “night and day” to win the support of grassroots Conservatives, who will choose the next Prime Minister.

“The choice for members is very simple: who is the best person to beat Labour at the next election? The evidence shows that’s Rishi,” said his campaign in a statement.

Truss has also thanked her supporters “for putting your trust in me” and says that she is ready to “hit the ground from day one”.

Following the ballot, Mordaunt thanked her supporters on Twitter and said that “we go forward together”.

Mordaunt has not yet signalled who she will be supporting in the upcoming runoff.

The final result of the contest to replace Boris Johnson is set to be announced on 6 September, giving the candidates a long summer of canvassing.

The winner of the vote is expected to replace Johnson on 6 September.

Previous votes

Earlier this morning, Mordaunt was calling wavering MPs from early on this morning and highlighted her economic plan as inflation hit a fresh 40-year high.

Truss insisted that she was the “only person who can deliver the change” the UK needs which is in “line with true Conservative principles”.

The Foreign Secretary picked up 15 votes to command the support of 86 Tory MPs on Tuesday.

Mordaunt increased her share by 10 to sit on 92, while Sunak gained an extra three votes to put him in 118, just shy of the number effectively guaranteeing him entry to the final phase.

Kemi Badenoch was eliminated from the race and the 59 votes she had are now up for grabs, with Truss hopeful of picking up enough to leapfrog Mordaunt – who has finished second in every round so far – to secure her place on the ballot.

But a source in the Mordaunt campaign said she was appealing to supporters of Badenoch and the previously-eliminated Tom Tugendhat who liked the idea of clean break from the Boris Johnson era.

conservative-leadership-bid Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss at Here East studios in Stratford, east London, before the live television debate for the candidates for leadership of the Conservative party. PA PA

Former Cabinet minister Damian Green, who had backed Tugendhat, said he was supporting Mordaunt.

Although Mordaunt has been a minister, she was not in Johnson’s Cabinet – unlike Sunak, who quit as chancellor earlier in July, and Truss, who remains the Foreign Secretary.

“As the only one not in Johnson’s cabinet, Penny is the sole MP left in the race who offers a genuine fresh start,” the insider said.

Mordaunt also highlighted her plan to address the cost-of-living crisis as inflation hit a fresh 40-year high, with Office for National Statistics figures showing the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) running at 9.4% in June.

She said: “We need to act now, and not sit on our hands by proclaiming we have done enough, during the height of this crisis, and come this autumn, to help people pay their bills.”

She also promised a plan for a major overhaul of the credit rating system to help renters get a mortgage and a place on the housing ladder.

Truss used a Daily Telegraph column to hint at jobs for her defeated rivals, promising a “government of all the talents” if she becomes prime minister.

The surge in support for Truss has raised eyebrows in the Mordaunt camp because Tugendhat’s votes had been expected to split between the trade minister and Sunak.

There have been widespread allegations of dirty tricks orchestrated by allies of Sunak, with claims the former chancellor’s supporters had been encouraged to vote tactically to ensure a run-off with Truss rather than Mordaunt.

Former cabinet minister David Davis, who backs Mordaunt, said “he wants to fight Liz, because she’s the person who will lose the debate with him”, adding that it was the “dirtiest campaign I’ve ever seen”.

Sunak used the final day of the Westminster leg of the leadership race to set out plans for the UK to produce all the energy it uses by 2045 at the latest.

The plan would spare consumers from the volatility of global market fluctuations caused by crises such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But he would scrap a plan to ease the ban on new onshore wind farm in England, instead focusing on offshore turbines.

“As energy bills skyrocket in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has never been more important that our country achieves energy sovereignty, so that we’re no longer reliant on the volatility of the global energy supply,” Sunak said.

“That’s why as prime minister I would introduce an ambitious new plan to make the UK energy independent, investing in vital new technologies. “

Before the final round of voting begins, Johnson will face one last session of Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons.

Additional reporting by Tadgh McNally

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