Former British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday topped the fourth round of voting to elect the next Conservative leader and prime minister of the country, Reuters reported.
The voting became necessary after Boris Johnson announced his resignation as prime minister on July 7.
Sunak, the former chancellor and the frontrunner, received 118 MPs’ votes. He is followed by Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt with 92 votes, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss with 86 votes and former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch with 59 votes.
Badenoch is out of the race for the prime minister’s post.
The last round of voting will take place on Wednesday, The Guardian reported. The MPs will decide which two candidates will go to a ballot of Conservative party members. The winner – the next prime minister – will be announced on September 5.
The race to elect Britain’s next prime minister has been focused on claims about tax rates at a time when the country’s economy is facing high inflation, high debt and low growth.
Sunak has indicated that if elected, he will focus more on fiscal prudence than immediate tax cuts. In a video message to his supporters, he had said other candidates may offer “comforting fairytales” rather than face the hard economic reality of the country.
The 42-year-old MP and the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy had resigned as Britain’s finance minister on July 5, plunging Johnson’s government into a crisis.