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4 candidates left in UK leadership race, Tugendhat knocked out

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-07-19 07:41

Photo taken on Aug. 18, 2021 shows the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. [Photo/Xinhua]

LONDON -- Four candidates made it to the next ballot round in the race to be the leader of the Conservative Party and replace outgoing Boris Johnson as prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK) after the third round of voting concluded on Monday.

Tom Tugendhat, House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, was knocked out of the race as he received the fewest votes.

According to the Conservative Party backbench 1922 Committee, the four survivors are former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (115 votes), International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt (82 votes), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (71 votes), and former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch (58 votes).

The 1922 Committee aims to whittle down the field to two candidates in successive rounds of voting before the British parliamentarians break up for the summer recess on Thursday.

The final two contenders will then go through a postal ballot of all the Conservative members, numbering around 200,000, over the summer. The winner, to be announced on Sept. 5, will become the new Tory leader and the UK's next prime minister.

A live television debate between the Conservative Party leadership candidates which is scheduled on Sky News Tuesday evening was canceled after Sunak and Truss confirmed they won't participate.

It is reported that some Conservative MPs have expressed their concerns about the damage the debates are doing to the image of the Conservative Party, exposing disagreements and splits within the party.

The Tory leadership race was triggered after Johnson was forced to bow to the inevitable on July 7 by an avalanche of resignations of cabinet ministers and other junior government officials who protested against his scandal-plagued leadership. Johnson continues to serve as caretaker prime minister until a new Tory leader succeeds him.

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