Rishi Sunak declares candidature for UK PM, leads with backing of over 131 MPs

LONDON: Infosys Rishi, son-in-law of NR founder Narayana Murthy Sunak officially hats off to Diwali-eve to enter the race to succeed Liz Truss as Conservative leader and next UK prime minister.
According to media reports, Sunak has so far had 131 to 153 MPs backing him while Truss’ predecessor Boris Johnson 56 to 76 and Penny Mordaunt 22 to 28 MPs. Only candidates nominated by 100 or more MPs will make it to the first ballot. Deadline ends at 18:30 IST on Monday. If Sunak is the only one to cross this threshold, he will automatically become UK prime minister during Diwali.
Oddschecker on Sunday still has Sunak as the favorite for the next Conservative Party leader. Claiming to be in the race, Sunak said the UK was facing a deep economic crisis. “I want to fix our economy, unite our party and give back to our country. There will be integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of the government I lead,” he wrote in a statement.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace suggested the three candidates should form a tripartite government to avoid political infighting at a time when the risks to the UK’s national security are great. But Sunak’s allies indicated he had the numbers so he didn’t need to secure any deal with Johnson after the duo met on Saturday night.
Johnson is said to have spent Sunday making calls to Conservative MPs to support him and even switch from Sunak.
Business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC’s ‘Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg’ that Johnson has 100 names requested and “it’s clear he will stand”, adding that his nominees ” need not be made public”.
But Johnson suffered a heavy blow when the former home secretary, Suella Braverman, a Goan native, announced his support for Sunak.
Braverman wrote in the Telegraph: “We need a Prime Minister who can command support from across the extended Conservative family.” Johnson is the right leader “at the right time,” she wrote. “But it would be naive to look back on those days with affection. We need to provide leadership, stability and confidence to the British people. We cannot indulge in nationalist or nativist fantasies. ”
Kemi Badenoch, international trade secretary, is also backing Sunak while foreign secretary James Cleverly and Lancaster prime minister Nadhim Zahawi are backing Johnson. “When I was prime minister, I watched a preview of what Boris 2.0 would look like. He wrote and was honest about his mistakes. He learned from those mistakes how he can run 10th place and the country better,” Zahawi tweeted.
The Indian-born cabinet ministers in Johnson’s government, Alok Sharma, Priti Patel and Shailesh Vara, all announced they were backing Johnson.
MP Steve Baker told Sky News there will be a vote in the House of Commons on the privilege committee’s recommendations following their investigation into whether Johnson misled the House on partisan issues. “At that point, his position as prime minister will collapse and this country cannot come back here for a few more months,” he said. But Johnson ally Nadine Dorries claims the focus of the prerogative committee “will shift straight to Rishi Sunak and what he knows. With Rishi, we will be in general election territory within weeks,” she said.
Liberal Democrats deputy leader Daisy Cooper said that Sunak “cannot be trusted to run our country through this cost of living crisis”, adding, “He is the prime minister who has raised tax on hard working families and lose billions of pounds in taxpayers’ money. COVID contract fraud.”


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