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The final two candidates for UK Prime Minister have yet to be decided

#final #candidates #Prime #Minister #decided

The final two candidates for the post of Prime Minister will be decided on Wednesday, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt set to battle for the likely runoff against front-runner Rishi Sunak.

Former Finance Minister Sunak was just two votes short of securing his spot in the bottom two after Tuesday’s vote, but the race behind him tightened as Truss reclaimed five votes and finished just six behind Mordaunt.

The final pair will be announced at 16:00 (1500 GMT) before the race moves to Conservative Party members who will choose the new leader and prime minister.

The result will be announced on September 5th.

Tuesday’s vote means Britain gets either its first British-Asian prime minister or third female leader in its history.

Sunak, whose resignation helped oust outgoing leader Boris Johnson, is all but guaranteed to make the final cut.

But Mordaunt – the bookmakers’ once favorite – is now the underdog and punters are betting the party’s right wing will rally behind Truss after Kemi Badenoch was voted out on Tuesday.

To woo these MPs, Truss wrote in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph that her plan to revive the economy would be “based on tax cuts, deregulation and tough reforms”.

Former Minister David Davis, a Mordaunt supporter, accused Sunak of giving Truss votes so he could run against her in the runoff.

“He wants to fight Liz because she’s the person who’s going to lose the debate with him,” he told LBC radio.

A YouGov poll released before the vote found that despite his popularity with peers, Sunak was the least appealing candidate to members.

The BBC plans to host a live televised debate with the final two candidates on Monday, with all remaining candidates agreeing to take part if they pass.

Sunak won the previous two debates, according to preliminary polls.

But his popularity with the Tory base has waned since questions were raised about his family’s tax arrangements and he directed skyrocketing inflation, which hit a new 40-year high of 9.4 percent on Wednesday in June.

In a new policy announcement, Sunak pledged an “ambitious new plan to make the UK energy independent by 2045” to prevent future energy-related inflation spikes after Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed up gas prices.

– ‘Fantasy Economy’ –

Mordaunt previously led the same YouGov poll of Tory members.

But she is now following Truss after a damaging few days during which her former boss, former British Brexit pointman David Frost, criticized her work ethic and questions were raised about her stance on transgender rights.

Johnson announced on July 7 that he was stepping down as Conservative leader following a government rebellion in protest at his scandal-ridden government.

In the UK parliamentary system, the leader of the largest party is the Prime Minister and can be changed during the term of office without the need to call a general election.

Johnson, who remains until his successor is found, chaired his last cabinet meeting on Tuesday and faced his last weekly question-and-answer session with MPs in Parliament on Wednesday.

Earlier, Opposition Leader Keir Starmer accused Tory candidates of “fantasy economics” before turning his fire on the outgoing Johnson.

“He’s a complete bullshitter and I think he’s been found out,” he told a podcast to Alastair Campbell, Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair’s former scriptwriter.

Starmer attacked Johnson over the Downing Street ‘Partygate’ scandal, which saw him fined for breaking the Covid rules he laid out for the public.

“Not only did he do things that broke the rules, but he poked fun at the public afterwards with his ridiculous defenses,” he added.

It is “good for the country” that he is leaving, Starmer added, saying this was reflected in public opinion in the last local elections.

“There was a general realization that this guy fucks up, and if he fucks up about it (Partygate), he’s probably screwing up about everything.”

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