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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 taking on 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 last two will be announced at 4pm (1400 GMT) before the race then moves to the party members who will choose the new leader and prime minister. The result will be announced on September 5th.

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

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

But Mordaunt – the bookmaker’s one-time favorite – is now the outsider and punters are betting the party’s right wing will swing behind Truss after Kim Badenoch was voted out on Tuesday.

Former Minister David Davis, a Mordaunt supporter, accused Sunak of lending votes to Truss to face her in the runoff.

“Rishi just reassigned some (votes) … 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 showed that despite his popularity with fellow MPs, Sunak was the least appealing candidate for members.

Mordaunt had previously conducted the same survey.

She is now succeeding Truss after a devastating few days during which her former boss, former British Brexit pointman David Frost, criticized her work ethic and questions about her stance on trans rights were raised.

– Race gets personal –

In a statement following Tuesday’s vote, Mordaunt said: “We are so close to the finish line. I look forward to taking my case to members across the country and winning.”

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

Sky News on Monday scrapped a planned debate between the remaining contenders after Sunak and Truss withdrew.

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

After his government survived a vote of confidence on Monday, Johnson will now almost certainly remain prime minister until his successor is announced on September 5.

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 chaired his final cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning and will face his final weekly question-and-answer session with MPs in Parliament on Wednesday.

In the two previous televised debates – on Channel 4 on Friday and the ITV network on Sunday – contenders particularly squabbled over whether to cut taxes to ease a mounting cost-of-living crisis.

But Sunday’s clash grew more acrimonious – and personal – with candidates encouraged to directly criticize each other and their proposals.

Sunak called on Truss to have voted against Brexit, her past membership in the Liberal Democrats and her position on taxation.

In return, Truss questioned Sunak’s responsibility for the economy.

Badenoch attacked Mordaunt for her stance on transgender rights – a rallying cry in the “culture wars” in which Tory law is exercised.

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