Rishi Sunak consolidates early lead in UK PM race with support of over 100 MPs | World News

Rishi Sunak has taken an early lead in the latest race for the leadership of the Conservative Party, with the former chancellor securing the support of at least 100 Tory MPs and ensuring he will go to a vote of party members next week if he goes public with his candidacy.

Read also| Penny Mordaunt enters UK PM race as Boris Johnson eyes return to top job

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood tweeted on Friday night that he was “honoured” to take Sunak to triple figures.

A maximum of three Tory MPs will be able to stand, as the party has set a threshold of 100 MPs for candidates to even get on the ballot, and there are 357 MPs in total in the party.

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As of Saturday morning, Penny Mordaunt was the only candidate to officially enter the Tory leadership contest, while newspapers reported that former prime minister Boris Johnson would enter the fray.

According to a poll by Opinium, UK voters would prefer Sunak and Mordaunt to Johnson as their next prime minister. When asked to choose between Sunak or Johnson, 44 percent chose Sunak and 31 percent chose their former boss, Opinium research found late Thursday.

Following is a selection of newspaper reports as the race heats up.

the sun:

Johnson has told his former adviser James Duddridge he is prepared to make a bid to return to No 10, the Sun reports, adding that Johnson could hold talks with Sunak on Saturday to avoid another potentially damaging clash for the Conservative Party. “I’m flying back to Dudders,” the paper quoted Johnson as saying. “We will do this. I’m willing to do that.”

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Times:

The paper’s lead story reports that Sunak’s supporters are urging Johnson not to stand, warning it will send the party into a “death spiral”. Sunak’s supporters say a second term in No. 10 for Johnson would be “disastrous” for the economy.

In its lead editorial, the Times again avoided endorsing a particular candidate — Sunak backed Truss in the summer round — but noted that the new leader should appoint ministers for their competence rather than simply loyalty. The next administration needs to make sure it doesn’t over-promise and under-deliver, it says.

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Post:

Six cabinet ministers are backing Johnson, including Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris, while Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg is going with #BorisOrBust.

The Telegraph:

Kemi Badenoch, the International Trade Secretary, and Suella Braverman, the former Home Secretary, are considering backing Johnson.

Former editor Charles Moore, one of Johnson’s long-time supporters, writes that the former prime minister should “hang this one” partly because there is no evidence that, while in charge, he was ever disturbed by the state of the nation’s finances. Sunak has the best skills to navigate the economy through the turbulence ahead.

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