Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss Make Final 2 To Replace Boris Johnson As UK PM – Deadline

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have made it to the final two in the race to replace Boris Johnson and become the next UK Prime Minister.

Sunak won the run-off comfortably, picking up nominations from 137 MPs, while Truss dramatically overtook second-placed Penny Mordaunt at the final hurdle to secure 113 nominations. Mordaunt took 105 noms.

Starting Monday, the pair will face off in a serious of debates and hustings over the summer in a bid to win a majority vote from the Conservatives’ 200,000 party members, with the winner set to be announced September 5, at which point Johnson will officially step down.

Although Sunak was comfortably ahead of Truss with MPs, bookmakers and polls have frequently placed both Truss and Mordaunt as likely winners against Sunak with Conservative members. As Chancellor, Sunak was widely praised for his response to the COVID pandemic but has since been criticized for a slow response to the cost-of-living crisis and the tax affairs of his wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of Indian billionaire N. R. Narayana Murthy.

Sunak’s resignation two weeks ago sparked Johnson’s downfall, with a further 50 MPs stepping down during a dramatic 48 hours before Johnson was eventually forced to secede. Johnson this afternoon took part in his final Prime Minister’s Questions in parliament.

Sunak and Truss will go head-to-head for the first time on Monday in a BBC debate chaired by Sophie Raworth, and will also be grilled individually by BBC presenter Nick Robinson.

The pair pulled out of Sky’s debate due last night, which led Sky to cancel the debate and drew criticism from Mordaunt’s camp and the opposition Labour Party.

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