In the race to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the British Conservative Party and Prime Minister, MP Kemi Badenoch was eliminated on Tuesday as the last place finisher. The MP and former Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, who has so far hardly appeared, had positioned herself on the right-hand edge of the Tory party. Now there are still three candidates in the race.
The remaining applicants are to face a final round of voting in the parliamentary group on Wednesday. The result is expected at 5 p.m. (CEST). The last-placed player is eliminated.
Party members will decide in a runoff election over the summer which of the two remaining candidates will succeed Johnson. The process is expected to be completed on September 5th.
Ex-Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is considered almost set for the finals. Secretary of State Liz Truss and Secretary of Commerce Penny Mordaunt compete for second place. It should be decisive who can get the most MPs behind him who last voted for Badenoch.
Sunak and competitor Truss had heavily criticized each other during a TV debate on Sunday evening. The acrimony of the altercation reportedly sparked concern within the party. The two clashed, among other things, because of different plans for tax cuts. But there were also personal attacks.
Sunak and Truss, who came third in the most recent vote, withdrew their commitment to a planned further TV debate on Monday, after which the broadcaster canceled the event completely.
Regardless of the procedure, the government had announced a vote of confidence, which it then survived. London’s House of Commons voted 111 votes in favor of the government late Monday evening.
The Johnson government responded to criticism that it had blocked a motion of no confidence in Johnson by the opposition Labor party last week.
Labor wanted to force Johnson to resign immediately. If the government had lost the vote of confidence, a new election would have been inevitable soon – but even Johnson’s opponents in the Tory party wanted to avoid that at all costs at the moment due to poor poll numbers. It was therefore considered certain that the government would win the vote.
Opposition leader and Labor leader Keir Starmer called it “absurd” that Johnson was likely to win the vote when it was clear he had lost his group’s support.
Johnson himself defended his political legacy with a flaming speech that afternoon. The outgoing prime minister said in the London House of Commons that he had completed Brexit and made the right decisions on the big issues.