Indian-Origin MPs Rishi Sunak And Suella Braverman On Shortlist Of Eight In UK PM Race


Former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Attorney General Suella Braverman were the two Indian-origin MPs who made to the shortlist of eight candidates for the prime minister’s post at the close of nominations on Tuesday. The others on the list include Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, former Cabinet ministers Kemi Badenoch and Jeremy Hunt and Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat, AP reported.

The candidates made it to the top 8 after receiving the backing of at least 20 MPs. All of them will now face the first round of voting on Wednesday. Those who receive the support of at least 30 MPs — or just under 10 per cent of Tory MPs — will make it to the next round, AP reported.

Two Pakistani-origin legislators — former Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Foreign Office Minister Rehman Chishti — withdrew from the race.

READ | Rishi Sunak Kicks Off Campaign For UK PM Post, Vows To Tackle Inflation, Reduce Tax Burden

A second ballot on Thursday will whittle down the field further as candidates with the least votes keep getting knocked out. Several rounds of voting are held until there are two candidates remaining. The deadline to narrow down the shortlist to just two remaining candidates is July 21.

After that, the entire Conservative Party membership will vote through postal ballot and the winner is named the new Tory leader and UK Prime Minister.

The 1922 Committee, in charge of the timetable for the leadership race, has said that the new Tory leader would be announced on September 5 and address their first Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament on September 7.

Rishi Sunak launched his campaign for the prime minister’s post on Tuesday, vowing to tackle soaring inflation and bringing the tax burden down. The 42-year-old Indian-origin MP, who is the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, also emphasised the need to “return to traditional Conservative economic values”. 

Sunak said he would prioritise funding for the armed services. He also said that he had a plan to steer the British economy through these headwinds. Sunak promised to cut taxes once inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 9.1 per cent in May, was brought under control.

“We need to have a grown up conversation about the central policy question that all candidates have to answer in this election. Do you have a credible plan to protect our economy and get it growing?” Sunak said.

“My message to the party and the country is simple: I have a plan to steer our country through these headwinds. Once we have gripped inflation, I will get the tax burden down. It is a question of when, not if,” Sunak further said at the campaign event. He also launched a website ready4rishi.com

Sunak, who oversaw the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and provided about $ 481 billion in economic support, is one of the favourites to replace Johnson and has the largest support among Conservative lawmakers, Reuters reported.