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14 Jul, 2022 15:24

Another contender exits race to succeed Boris Johnson

The battle to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader has tightened with the elimination of Suella Braverman
Another contender exits race to succeed Boris Johnson

Suella Braverman has been eliminated after UK Conservative MPs cast their ballots in the second round of the party’s leadership contest on Thursday. Five hopefuls remain in contention, with former chancellor Rishi Sunak leading the pack.

Braverman received 27 votes, placing her last among six candidates and ending her hopes of succeeding Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister of the UK.

In her pitch to take the helm of the party, Braverman had promised to pull the UK out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and stop the influx of migrants arriving in the UK by boat. A prominent Brexiteer, she had also positioned herself as a sharp critic of “woke” culture and vowed to rid British politics of “all this woke rubbish.” Like almost every other contender, she had promised to lower taxes and maintain the UK’s military support for Ukraine.

Of the five remaining candidates the three favourites are former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who remains in first place after Thursday’s ballot, securing the support of 101 MPs. Junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss follow in second and third place, with 83 and 64 votes, respectively.

While eight prospective leaders entered the contest to succeed Johnson, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt were eliminated in the first round of voting on Wednesday. According to the party’s rules, candidates failing to receive the support of 30 MPs are knocked out during the first ballot, with the lowest-scoring candidate eliminated in each subsequent round of voting. When only two remain, the party’s members across the country will choose a winner by postal vote.

Beset by scandals, Johnson stepped down as leader of the Tories last week. However, he will continue to serve as PM until his replacement is chosen.