Rishi Sunak is UK’s next Prime Minister after Penny Mordaunt fails to get 100 backers & Boris steps aside to avoid chaos | The Sun
RISHI Sunak will be named Britain's 57th Prime Minister TODAY after rival Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the leadership race.
Mr Sunak won the support of an overwhelming majority of Tory MPs, enabling him to claim the keys to No10.
On the day of Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – Mr Sunak will become Britain's first PM of Indian heritage.
Ms Mordaunt dropped out of the contest at the last minute this afternoon after she failed to secure the support of 100 colleagues.
The ex-Chancellor took an early lead in the Tory leadership race, having lost the last one to Liz Truss just weeks ago.
Within hours of Ms Truss announcing her resignation last Thursday, MPs came out in droves to support Mr Sunak.
But his chances of moving to Downing Street were dramatically slashed when Boris Johnson informally launched a spectacular come back bid.
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The ex-PM left his glamorous holiday in the Dominican Republic to fly back to London and shore up support.
Tory heavyweights split between two camps, with James Cleverly and Priti Patel going team Boris, and Grant Shapps and Kemi Badenoch waving the flag for Rishi.
Over the weekend Ms Mordaunt trailed behind the pair, with only around two dozen MPs backing her campaign.
On Sunday Mr Johnson made a late night exit from the race.
The former Prime Minster insisted he had the numbers to go to a vote of the Conservative membership.
But he threw in the towel as MPs broke for Mr Sunak at a rate of more than two to one.
In a statement the ex-PM said: "I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow.
"But in the course of the last days I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can't govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament."
BoJo was praised by some of his parties for taking the back seat in the name of Tory unity.
Ms Mordaunt carried on campaigning into Monday and in the morning her team claimed she'd almost reached the 100 threshold.
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But minutes before 1922 backbench committee chair Sir Graham Brady was due to read the results, the Commons Leader stepped down.
In a statement she said: "Our Party is our membership. Whether we are elected representatives, activists, fundraisers or supporters. We all have a stake in who our leader is.
"These are unprecedented times. Despite the compressed timetable for the leadership contest it is clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today. They have taken this decision in good faith and for the good of the country.
"We all owe it to the country, to each other and to Rishi to unite and work together for the good of the nation."
Responding to Mr Sunak's coronation, Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner said: “Rishi Sunak has no mandate and no idea what working people need.
"We need a general election so the public get a say on the future of Britain – and the chance for a fresh start with Labour.”
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