New Tory leader

Sunak wins PM race after Mordaunt drops outs

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak: first non-white PM

Rishsi Sunak will become the new Tory leader and UK Prime Minister after his only remaining rival Penny Mordaunt withdrew after failing to make the threshold of 100 nominations needed to trigger a run-off vote.

Ms Mordaunt pulled out just minutes before the 2pm deadline issued a statement saying MPs had “taken this decision in good faith for the good of the country”.

Mr Sunak, 42, who had secured nominations from more than half of Tory MPs, becomes Britain’s first non-white Prime Minister and the youngest since the Napoleonic Wars.

He was the only candidate to reach the nominations threshold of 100 MPs to enter the leadership race. It was his second bid for the job after being defeated by Liz Truss last month. His election this time was made easier after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulled out last night.

Mr Sunak was addressing MPs at 2:30pm before visiting the King to be invited to form a government. 

Attention will quickly turn to the management of the economy and the public finances – amid warnings of a deep recession – and whether he confirms Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor who is expected to deliver the fiscal plan next Monday.

The FTSE 100 index was up 57 points to 7,026.90 following Mr Sunak’s victory.

In the campaign to replace Mr Johnson, Mr Sunak had warned that Liz Truss’s policies would lead to rising interest rates. Voters rejected him in favour of Ms Truss, though he was proved right.

Rapid rise

It has taken Rishi Sunak just seven years to riser from being first elected an MP to becoming the Prime Minister.

He entered the House of Commons at the 2015 general election, when he won the seat of Richmond in North Yorkshire with 51% of the vote. It was formerly the seat of William Hague, who was also Tory party leader

Mr Sunakheld the seat at the 2017 and 2019 elections, winning an increased share of 64% of the vote on both occasions.

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