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Rishi Sunak Winner In First Round Of Tory Leadership Vote

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The first round of voting by MPs to choose the next Conservative leader and prime minister has gone Rishi Sunak’s way.  The former Chancellor won 88 votes followed by Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt in second place on 67 and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss third on 50.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt were eliminated.

Thursday will see another round of voting for those still in the running. 160,000 Tory members will next week narrow down options and decide who they want to become the next party leader and prime minister.

The results are set to be announced on 5 September. The remaining six candidates are now rushing to gather support from the MPs who had earlier backed Mr Hunt and Mr Zahawi.

Hunt told the BBC he would be supporting Mr Sunak in the race.

Mr Sunak, who quit as chancellor last week in protest at Boris Johnson’s running of the government, told the BBC he felt “great” about the result.

On the other hand, Ms Mordaunt said she was “very honoured” by her showing.

“Now is the time for colleagues to unite behind the candidate who will cut taxes, deliver the real economic change we need from day one and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine. Liz has the experience to deliver the benefits of Brexit from day one, grow our economy and support working families,” said a spokesperson for Liz Truss.

The contest is being held after Boris Johnson announcing his resignation last week, after months of criticism over lockdown parties in Downing Street and other issues.

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