Tory leadership race: Knives are out as Johnson backs ‘anyone but Rishi’ while Mordaunt and Truss scrap for support
Knives are out in the final stages of the Conservative leadership contest, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson backing “anyone but Rishi” and eliminated candidates nailing their colours to the mast.
While the Prime Minister has refused to back any one candidate, a source told the Times “the whole No 10 team hates Rishi” because he was “planning this for a long time”.”
Another ally of the outgoing prime minister however denied the claim it was “anyone but Rishi”, even though they admitted he resented his “betrayal”.
This comes after the second ballot results were announced yesterday, with Sunak picking up 101 votes from his fellow Tory MPs, while Penny Mordaunt picked up 83 and foreign secretary Liz Truss remained in third place on 64.
Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat are the other two candidates remaining in the race, after getting 49 and 32 votes respectively, with both refusing to quit.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss scooped the endorsement of eliminated Braverman, and the majority of her backers, bringing her closer to her nearest rival, Penny Mordant.
Mordaunt’s supporters accused Truss’ campaign of a “black ops” operation which stopped her getting leading cabinet committee posts because she “was not up to the job”, according to the Times.
She shot into the top spot to be next Prime Minister yesterday with bookmakers, after finishing a strong second in the first vote. She also came out top in a YouGov poll of Conservative members, which showed she had commanding leads over every other candidate.