The former Treasury Chancellor Rishi Sunak held an early advantage in the latest race for the Conservative Party leadership that also drives one into the number 10, with the former chancellor securing the backing of at least 100 Tory MPs he is yet to declare his candidacy for the PM.
UK voters would favor Sunak and Mordaunt over Johnson as the next PM. When asked to choose between Sunak or Johnson, 44% chose Sunak, and 31% chose his former boss, per Opinium poll.
The former PM Boris Johnson, who went to office in a landslide victory but resigned after many scandals, is considering running again to be UK prime minister after Liz Truss's resignation, with rightwing Conservative MPs and party donors already backing his nascent campaign. The PM flew back to London from the Caribbean, where he was on vacation with his family.
Sunak was leading narrowly ahead of Johnson among Tory MP nominations on Thursday night in a bid to claim the leadership victory he missed last month. Boris Johnson is privately urging Conservative MPs to support him for a return to Downing Street with a pledge that only he can win the Tories in the next election, British papers reported. Jonson has also offered Sunak an olive branch to reunite.
Only three Tory MPs will be able to run, as the party has set a threshold of 100 MPs for candidates to get on the ballot paper, and there are a total of 357 MPs in the party.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood tweeted his delight at becoming the 100th MP, supporting Rishi Sunak.
The 49-year-old Penny Mordaunt, the minister for parliamentary relations, has officially run for prime minister, becoming the first to do so since the resignation of Liz Trace.
"The support of my friends, who want a new beginning and a united party for the sake of the country, encouraged me to run," Mordant tweeted.
Kurdish British politician Nadhim Zahawi has not publicly expressed his willingness to run for office and apologized for economic turmoil after the mini-budget on TV. Zahawi also lacks roots within the conservative party and has no visible tory support.
The Kingdom is going through turmoil as it lost its Queen amid a shaky government that has failed to elect a leader, with the Sterling Pound plummeting against the dollar.