five candidates now in the race to succeed Boris Johnson

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After the second round of voting to choose a successor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, British Chancellor Rishi Sunak was swept back into the lead by Conservative MPs on Thursday, ahead of poll favorite Penny Mordaunt.

UK Chancellor of Finance Rishi Sunak he was once again placed in the lead by Conservative MPs on Thursday 14 July in the second round of internal voting to choose a successor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ahead of polling favorite Penny Mordaunt.

Rishi Sunak, 42, got 101 votes, ahead of Penny Mordaunt (83 votes) and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, third with 64 votes.

The attorney general, in charge of legal advice to the government, Suella Braverman (27 votes) was eliminated, while the former Secretary of State for equality Kemi Badenoch, the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat remain in the race, with 49 and 32 votes respectively.

Other rounds of voting are scheduled for next week to designate the two finalists before the parliamentary recess on July 21. They will be decided during a postal vote reserved for party members only, the result of which is due to be announced on September 5. There were 160,000 who participated in the 2019 vote.

One week after the announcement of the resignation of Boris JohnsonSwept by cascading departures in a scandal-weary government, Penny Mordaunt, a 49-year-old former defense minister, would beat all her rivals in a final duel, according to a YouGov poll.

>> United Kingdom: Boris Johnson, the scandal machine

anti awakening

If on the right of the party the criticism has so far focused on Rishi Sunak, some denouncing a “socialist” responsible for the fall of Boris Johnson, it is towards Penny Mordaunt that the blows are now being dealt.

In a vitriolic campaign, some Tories now accuse her of having too “awakened” positions, having declared that “trans women are women” when she was Secretary of State for Equality.

However, since becoming a candidate, Penny Mordaunt has completely changed her speech, even attempting a transphobic joke during her pitch meeting on Wednesday.

“I think it was Margaret Thatcher who said that everyone needs a Willie (Whitelaw, the former Prime Minister’s number 2). A woman like me doesn’t have one,” she said, laughing. In English, “willy” also means penis.

David Frost, the former Brexit negotiator, questioned her professional qualifications when she worked for him and issued “serious reservations” on Talk TV about her ability to lead the country.

Some conservatives still see him as the best option to turn the page on the Johnson era and its share of scandals. But only 11% of Britons can name her when they see her face, according to a Savanta ComRes study. Some even confuse her with the singer Adele.

Another serious candidate, diplomat chief Liz Truss, launched her campaign on Thursday, supported by the Johnson camp. “I will campaign as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative,” said the 46-year-old minister, who did not register the decisive rebound expected by extending votes on Thursday during the new electoral round.

with AFP

Dennis Alvarado

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