LONDON, July 14 (Xinhua) — Five candidates have advanced to the next round of voting in the race to become leader of the Conservative Party and replace Boris Johnson, who resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) after the second round of voting. ended on Thursday.
Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, led the run-off with 101 votes from Tory lawmakers, according to the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee, which runs the leadership contest. He won the first vote on Wednesday.
The other four survivors are International Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt (83 votes); Foreign Minister Liz Truss (64 votes); former Minister for Equality Kemi Badenach (49 votes); and Legislator Tom Tugendhat (32 votes).
Attorney General Suella Braverman was eliminated from the race because she received the least support.
A third vote is scheduled for Monday, with the 1922 Committee aiming to narrow the field to two candidates in successive rounds of voting before British parliamentarians leave for summer recess on July 21.
The final two contenders will then be put to a postal vote by all Conservative members, numbering around 200,000, over the summer, with the winner announced on September 5, becoming the new Tory leader and the UK’s next prime minister.
A YouGov poll published on Wednesday showed Mordaunt was the favorite among Conservative Party members, beating anyone else in the run-off.
The Tory leadership race was called after Johnson was forced to bow out last week amid an avalanche of resignations by cabinet ministers and other junior government officials protesting his scandal-ridden leadership. Johnson continues to serve as Prime Minister until he is replaced by a new Tory leader.