Rishi Sunak on course to become next UK PM as Boris Johnson pulls out of race
Rishi Sunak seems all set to become the next British prime minister with the former finance minister gaining the support of several top leaders in the Conservative Party. Sunak’s bid was further strengthened on Sunday as former PM Boris Johnson ruled himself out of the leadership race.
Since Liz Truss resigned from the post following a torrid tenure, Johnson was being considered to be a tough opposition for Sunak in the race. However, the former Prime Minister decided to never launch his campaign stating that it was “simply not the right thing to do” and “not the right time”.
While 60 Conservative Party leaders publicly stated their support for Johnson to return to office, he claimed that he had the backing of 102 – enough to secure the mandate in the race.
“There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative party members, and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday.”
“But in the course of the last days I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.
“And though I have reached out to both Rishi and Penny – because I hoped that we could come together in the national interest – we have sadly not been able to work out a way of doing this.
“Therefore, I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds. I believe I have much to offer, but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time,” Johnson said in his official statement on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Sunak continued to bolster his support base with Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, current finance minister Jeremy Hunt and the home secretary Grant Shapps all announced their support for the Indian-origin politician. He was even supported by long-time critic Nadhim Zahawi.
With 100 votes needed to secure a victory, Sunak currently has around 165 supporters.
At present, Penny Mordaunt remains the only competition for Sunak in the leadership race, but the Leader of the House of Commons has only 30 leaders backing her in the competition.