Tory contest

Sunak to battle Truss or Mordaunt for leadership

Rishi Sunak will face either Liz Truss or Penny Mordaunt in the final two

Three candidates remain in the race to succeed Boris Johnson after former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch became the latest to be eliminated in a vote of MPs.

Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt will now attempt to lure Ms Badenoch’s 59 supporters to at least secure second place.

Rishi Sunak raced further ahead on 118 votes, but YouGov surveys suggest he may fail to beat either Ms Truss on 86 and Ms Mordaunt on 92 when 160,000 party members cast their votes tomorrow to determine the final two.

A Sunak campaign spokeswoman said they remained confident he would win the contest. “Rishi has continued to progress today because he is the candidate with the clearest plan to restore trust, rebuild the economy, reunite the country and because he is best placed to beat Labour at the next election.

“Every poll shows only Rishi can beat Starmer, and is the candidate the public think would make the best PM.”

The BBC is to host a live TV debate with the final two candidates. Our Next Prime Minister will be broadcast on BBC One at 9pm on Monday, presented by Sophie Raworth, in front of an audience of between 80 and 100 people in Stoke-on-Trent.

It will be the third televised debate following those on Channel Four and ITV. Sky pulled the plug on tonight’s debate after Mr Sunak and Ms Truss withdrew,.

A new leader will be in place by 5 September.

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