UK’s Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is ahead of becoming the Prime Minister

UK’s Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is ahead of becoming the Prime Minister.

As the field of candidates to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister shrank to four on Monday, Tom Tugendhat was eliminated from contention after earning the fewest votes. Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak came out on top. In the third round of voting, the British-Indian former finance minister made 115 votes. Penny Mordaunt, the trade minister, came in second with 82 votes, followed by Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, with 71 votes, and Kemi Badenoch, the former equalities minister, with 58 votes.

Tom Tugendhat, a Tory backbencher and the chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, received 31 votes instead of the usual 32, eliminating him from the race. 

Sunak has gained 14 more votes from the previous round of 101, while Mordaunt has lost one from 83 in the second voting round last week. 

The top tier of the voting count has remained relatively intact. Truss increased her score from 64, while Badenoch increased her score from 49 in the previous round.

The candidate who receives the support of at least 120 of their fellow Conservative Party members will be assured a place on the final shortlist of two candidates who will fight for the votes of the Tory membership. 

The final voting rounds are taking place this week because a third live television discussion that was going to be broadcast by “Sky News” on Tuesday night was canceled when Sunak and Truss refused to participate, according to the station.

The two candidates’ conflicts over differences in tax and economic policy as former Cabinet colleagues in the Boris Johnson-led administration are said to have had an impact on the outcome. 

Truss and Sunak frequently sparred during an “ITV” discussion on Sunday, escalating the tension and raising fears of damaging Tory infighting. 

After the discussion, a quick survey showed Sunak to be ahead but Truss to be in the last position.

The BBC reports that the foreign minister wants to concentrate on hustings amongst Tory MPs, who now control the majority of the vote. 

At the same time, Sunak’s team has said he would be open to further discussions if he made it to the final two. 

The Conservative party is worried about the combative nature of the campaign, which is why Tuesday’s debate has been canceled.

Former Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis said that the campaign has so far been “plagued by charges of dark arts and dirty methods” before the postponement of the TV discussion. 

The senior Tory MP said in a piece published in “The Times” that “aggressive briefing and counter-briefing just adds to (Opposition) Labour’s research files” and would be “a gift to the Opposition.”

Votes are planned until just two candidates are left in the running by Thursday after the next round of voting, which is anticipated to take place on Tuesday and further reduce the shortlist. 

The remaining two will then conduct hustings around the UK to persuade the approximately 160,000 eligible members of the Conservative Party to cast postal votes in their support. 

By September 5, the victor of that vote will succeed interim British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the next Tory leader and head of the party.