Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Attorney General Suella Braverman are the two MPs of Indian descent making the first shortlist of eight candidates in the race to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister at the close of nominations on Tuesday night .
The others to be on the ballot include Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, Commerce Secretary Penny Mordaunt, former ministers Kemi Badenoch and Jeremy Hunt and Tory backseat Tom Tugendhat.
Sunak, who formally launched his campaign earlier, remains the frontrunner in the race with reportedly the highest number of MPs behind him. “I am conducting a positive campaign focused on what my leadership can bring to our party and our country,” the 42-year-old conservative leader said at the launch of his campaign.
Earlier, Ms. Braverman, 42, said she “has the numbers” to make the vote for the leadership race.
Ms Braverman, whose parents emigrated to Britain from Kenya and Mauritius in the 1960s, has been an MP for Fareham since 2015.
The candidates needed the support of at least 20 MPs to make the first cut and all eight will now face the first round of voting on Wednesday, leaving only those with the support of at least 30 MPs – or just under 10 percent of Tory – MPs – advances to round two.
Just as the nominations closed, the two hopeful candidates of Pakistani descent — former Health Minister Sajid Javid and Foreign Minister Rehman Chishti — had withdrawn from the race, failing to pass the 20-MP mark. “There is an abundance of both ideas and talent in our party. One of the candidates will be honored to become Prime Minister,” said Mr Javid.
A second vote on Thursday will narrow the field further, as candidates with the fewest votes are always eliminated.
Further voting is scheduled for next week if the race to reach the final two candidates is not over by the end of this week.
The deadline to narrow the shortlist to just two remaining candidates is July 21, when the chairman of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, will also seek assurances that both finalists will remain in the running to meet the wider party membership vote.
The 1922 committee, which is responsible for the timetable for the leadership race, has said the new Tory leader will be announced on September 5 and will answer their first questions from the prime minister in parliament on September 7. After narrowing the field to the final two candidates, the duo will tour parts of the UK campaigning for the estimated 200,000 Tory party members who will then vote by mail for the winner on a one-member, one-member basis. voting system.
The candidate with the most votes wins the race and is named the new Tory leader and Prime Minister of the UK.
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