Tory leadership

Truss to battle Sunak for keys to Number 10

Sunak and Truss
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to head-to-head for Tory leadership

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will battle with ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the Tory party leadership after Penny Mordaunt was eliminated in the latest round of voting by MPs.

Ms Truss was six behind her rival coming into today’s vote, but appeared to secure enough of Kemi Badenoch’s backers to leapfrog the trade minister with 113 votes to 105.

Mr Sunak again topped the vote, bagging an additional 19 votes to take his total to 137.

The final two will now go head-to-head in a ballot of 160,000 Tory members, with the winner set to be announced on 5 September, and become the next Prime Minister.

A BBC TV debate on Monday night may prove decisive, though a YouGov poll already shows she would comfortably beat Mr Sunak by a margin of 54:35. 

The outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson was afforded a standing ovation by Tory MPs, including many of those who deposed him, at the end of this afternoon’s Commons session.

In what seemed like a dig at his former Chancellor, he said his successor should “focus on the road ahead, but always remember to check the rear view mirror, and remember above all it’s not Twitter that counts – it’s the people that sent us here.”

He also dropped a hint he could attempt a political comeback, telling MPs his premiership had been “mission largely accomplished – for now”.

As he left the Chamber, his final words were: “Hasta la vista… baby”, a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s catchphrase from the film Terminator in which he also said: “I’ll be back.”

In their final bruising exchanges at PMQs, Mr Johnson branded Labour leader Sir Keir a “great pointless human bollard”.

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