Jeremy Hunt and Nadim Zahawi eliminated from Tory leadership contest
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The final six candidates vying to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister are preparing for the second round of votes on Thursday, July 14. Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat and Suella Braverman all remain in the leadership contest after Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt were eliminated from the race.
Former Chancellor Mr Sunak won the first round of voting by MPs on Wednesday, July 13, receiving the support of 88 MPs.
Trade Minister Ms Mordaunt came in second place with 67 votes and Foreign Secretary Ms Truss third with 50 votes.
Former equalities minister Ms Badenoch, Mr Tugendhat and Attorney General Ms Braverman also made it through the first ballot with 40,37 and 32 votes respectively.
The remaining candidates will be hoping for support from the MPs who backed Mr Hunt and Mr Zahawi.
Mr Hunt announced that he was now backing Mr Sunak, and warned all candidates against using “smears and attacks”, saying: “The nation is watching and they’ve had enough of our drama.”
Mr Sunak told the BBC he felt “great” about the first ballot result.
Meanwhile, Mr Tugendhat tweeted: “This is a fantastic result. I’m delighted to be going through to the next round with the momentum we need to change this country for the better. Our country needs a clean start.”
Ms Truss is also expected to hold her official campaign launch today promising to “level up [the country] in a Conservative way”.
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Tory MPs will begin their second vote at 11.30am and the ballot will close at 1.30pm.
Chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs Sir Graham Brady is expected to announce the result at 3pm.
Whoever has the lowest number of supporters after the vote will be eliminated from the race.
More votes will be held in the coming days, with two finalists expected to be finalised by July 21.
The pair will face a summer of hustings with some 160,000 Conservative Party members deciding their fate. A winner is due to be confirmed on September 5.
So what do YOU think? Who do you want to go out in today’s round of voting? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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