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Rishi Sunak set to become new UK prime minister today

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

Rishi Sunak set to become new UK prime minister today

Rishi Sunak is anticipated as becoming the next prime minister of the UK following Liz Truss' resignation.

Last week, on Thursday, 20 October, Liz Truss announced her resignation as prime minister after just 44 days in office.

Boris Johnson was revealed as being set to run for the role again, despite leaving 10 Downing Street off the back of breaking lockdown rules on multiple occasions - a scandal which became known as partygate.

However, yesterday (Sunday, 23 October) Johnson pulled out of the Conservative leadership contest, leaving Rishi Sunak as the frontrunner ahead of Penny Mordaunt.

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Rishi Sunak is anticipated as becoming the UK's next Prime Minister. Credit: Russell Hart/ Alamy Stock Photo
Rishi Sunak is anticipated as becoming the UK's next Prime Minister. Credit: Russell Hart/ Alamy Stock Photo

By 2:00pm today, (Monday, 24 October) the Conservative leadership contest will close, with candidates required to have amassed the support of at least 100 Tory MPs.

Johnson abandoned his comeback after only amassing a total public backing of 59 Tory MPs.

Despite having initially stated his confidence in being 'well placed to deliver a Conservative election victory in 2024', Johnson resolved it wouldn't be 'the right thing to do' for him to return as leader of the UK.

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He resolved: "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."

Boris Johnson pulled out of the Conservative leadership race yesterday. Credit: Chris Bull/ Alamy Stock Photo
Boris Johnson pulled out of the Conservative leadership race yesterday. Credit: Chris Bull/ Alamy Stock Photo

Both Sunak and Mordaunt responded to news of Johnson's decision to pull out of the race via Twitter.

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Sunak wrote: "Boris Johnson delivered Brexit and the great vaccine roll-out. He led our country through some of the toughest challenges we have ever faced, and then took on Putin and his barbaric war in Ukraine. We will always be grateful to him for that.

"Although he has decided not to run for PM again, I truly hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad."

Mordaunt stated: "In taking this difficult decision last night @BorisJohnson has put country before party, and party before self. He worked to secure the mandate and the majority we now enjoy.

"We should put it to good use, and I know he will work with us to do so.

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All hope is not entirely lost for Penny Mordaunt. Credit: Russell Hart/ Alamy Stock Photo
All hope is not entirely lost for Penny Mordaunt. Credit: Russell Hart/ Alamy Stock Photo

It's uncertain as to which other candidate Johnson's backers will now choose.

Member of Parliament for Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nadhim Zahawi, has publicly spoken out in support of Sunak: "A day is a long time in politics... Given today's news, it's clear that we should turn to @RishiSunak to become our next Prime Minister. Rishi is immensely talented, will command a strong majority in the parliamentary Conservative Party, and will have my full support & loyalty."

Whereas, MP for Ashford, Damian Green, is supporting Mordaunt: "I worked closely with Penny in Government and saw her determination and imagination. She is best placed to provide national stability and unify the Party."

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Sunak is currently leading the race. Credit: @Laura__Farris/ Twitter
Sunak is currently leading the race. Credit: @Laura__Farris/ Twitter

By the end of yesterday, Sunak had over 165 supporters, compared to Mordaunt who has 25.

However, Mordaunt's supporters are reportedly confident she's still in with a chance to overtake Sunak.

Nominations are set to close today, Monday 24 October at 2:00pm and a new Prime Minister confirmed by the end of the week.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson, UK News, Politics

Poppy Bilderbeck
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