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  • Writer's pictureGraham Rawlings

Here We Go! (Again...)

Rishi Sunak is to become the next Prime Minister of the UK after Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the Tory leadership race.

Next PM Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has become the new Conservative leader and will be prime minister after Penny Mordaunt followed Boris Johnson in withdrawing from the running minutes before the party was due to announce how many MPs had backed each candidate.

In an apparent acknowledgement that she had not reached the 100 MP threshold to progress, two minutes before the nomination process closed at 2 pm, Mordaunt tweeted that she had pulled out and that Sunak had her “full support”.

Five minutes later, Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, formally announced the result: “I can confirm that we have one valid nomination, and Rishi Sunak is elected as leader of the Conservative party.”

He will take over as prime minister from Liz Truss imminently, most likely on Tuesday, at which point Truss will have served 50 days on the job.

Liz Truss
Liz Truss will have spent just 50 days as Prime Minister, and essentially the instrument of her own demise was primarily due to a combination of three factors — her personality make-up, her doctrinaire ideological outlook and the global energy crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Sunak, the former chancellor who came second in the leadership contest against Truss in the summer, had secured the backing of more than half the parliamentary party by Monday morning.

Sunak, whose parents are of Punjabi Indian heritage, will become the first person of colour to become UK prime minister. He is not the first minority ethnic PM – Benjamin Disraeli, who held the office twice between 1868 and 1880, was of Jewish heritage.

In her statement, Mordaunt said: “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 for the good of the country.

As Sunak is the only remaining candidate in the race, the 150,000 Tory members will be denied a say on who becomes the next prime minister.

What this means for the construction industry and the UK's current financial crisis, made worse by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, remains to be seen...


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