Tory leadership race latest LIVE: Half of Tory MPs back Rishi Sunak as he leads race for No10

3 months ago Evening Standard

R ishi Sunak has reportedly gained the support of more than half of all Tory MPs to become Britain’s next prime minister as at least 12 “switchers” from Boris Johnson’s campaign backed him on Monday morning. They included Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Cabinet Office minister Nadhim Zahawi, former Home Secretary Priti Patel, former Culture Secretary Sir John Whittingdale and another close ally of Mr Johnson, Sir James Duddridge. After Mr Johnson pulled out of the contest on Sunday night, ex-Chancellor Mr Sunak was picking up new backers far quicker than Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt who is also seeking to get the support of 100 MPs needed to get on the ballot paper to go to party members to decide from a shortlist of two. One tally put Mr Sunak on 180 (more than half the 357 Tory MPs), with Ms Mordaunt on 31, but other reports have lower figures. If only the former Chancellor gets the support of 100 MPs, he will become Tory leader on Monday afternoon, and Britain’s first non-white PM, without a vote by party members.
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