BREAKING: Rishi Sunak will be prime minister after Penny Mordaunt bows out of leadership race

Rishi Sunak 'could be prime minister today' as Boris Johnson quits leadership race

Rishi Sunak 'could be prime minister today' as Boris Johnson quits leadership race. Credit: ComposedPix/

Rishi Sunak is the new Conservative Party leader and will be prime minister after Penny Mordaunt bows out of the leadership race.

Update 15.20 – Chief Minister of Gibraltar has congratulated incoming Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Fabian Picardo spoke through a statement on behalf of the Government and People of Gibraltar to Mr Sunak and reflected on his support for Gibraltar as Chancellor of the Exchequer and for his work regarding the £500m Sovereign Guarantee from HM Treasury.

Mr Picardo also sent a message to Liz Truss to “thank her sincerely for her friendship and support” for Gibraltar during her time as International Trade Secretary, Foreign Secretary, and, more recently, as Prime Minster, a position which she resigned from after just 44 days.

“I have today written to Rishi Sunak to congratulate him on his selection as Conservative Party Leader and therefore Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr Picardo said.

“Mr Sunak has worked very closely with us in the past and was instrumental in the execution of the Sovereign Guarantee from the United Kingdom.

“I look forward to working closely with Mr Sunak on all Gibraltar related issues, not least on the continued negotiations for a UK/EU Treaty on Gibraltar’s future relationship with the European Union.

“I have also written to Ms Truss to thank her for her work as International Trade Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister and wish her all the very best for the future”.

Update 15.10 – Rishi Sunak has been crowned leader of the Conservative Party and will soon become UK Prime Minister.

The new Tory leader was crowned after his opponent Penny Mordaunt pulled out of the leadership race after not making the 100 votes required to run in the contest.

Mr Sunak, former chancellor under ex-PM Boris Johnson, pledged to “fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country” when he officially threw his hat in the ring yesterday (Sunday).

He is expected to make a speech at 2.30pm local time.

The UK’s former chancellor could be handed the keys to Number 10 if his rival Penny Mordaunt is unable to secure the support of 100 MPs by 2pm today (local time), according to reports.

As of Sunday evening, Conservative MP Mr Sunak, who announced he was running yesterday (Sunday), had the support of 155 members of parliament, while 25 MPs were presently behind Mordaunt, reports the BBC.

A further 54 MPs had publicly declared their support for Boris Johnson, who has pulled out of the race.

Mr Johnson said in a statement that he was “overwhelmed” by the support from those who wanted him back as PM, but admitted that it despite claiming he had 102 backers, he said it “would not be the right thing to do”.

In the last few days I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who suggested that I should once again contest the Conservative Party leadership, both among the public and among friends and colleagues in Parliament,” he said.

“I have been attracted because I led our party into a massive election victory less than three years ago – and I believe I am therefore uniquely placed to avert a general election now.

“A general election would be a further disastrous distraction just when the government must focus on the economic pressures faced by families across the country.

“I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow.

“There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday. But in the course of the last days, I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do.”

The former prime minister revealed that he had spoken to both Mr Sunak and Ms Mordaunt to “come together in the national interest”, but says they were unable to work out a way to achieve this.

“You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament. And though I have reached out to both Rishi and Penny – because I hoped that we could come together in the national interest – we have sadly not been able to work out a way of doing this,” he continued.

“Therefore I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds. I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time.”

Mr Sunak yesterday confirmed that he is running for UK prime minister and pledgeed to “fix the economy” and “unite our party”.

The announcement came following the widely reported speculation that Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson were in talks to strike a deal and get the party to unite behind them.

Mr Sunak tweeted: “The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis. “That’s why I am standing to be Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister.

“I want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country.”

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Vickie S
Written by

Vickie Scullard

A journalist of more than 12 years from Manchester, UK, Vickie now lives in Madrid and works as a news writer for the Euro Weekly News.