Former finance minister Rishi Sunak secured the highest number of votes (88) in the first round, while two candidates bowed out of the race after failing to reach the threshold of 30 votes.
Two candidates were knocked out of the race to replace UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, leaving six lawmakers battling to lead the Conservative Party and the country.
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt and treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi failed to reach the threshold of 30 votes by Conservative lawmakers needed to stay in the contest.
Former finance minister Rishi Sunak scored 88 votes, ahead of junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt on 67 and foreign secretary Liz Truss on 50.
Lawmaker Kemi Badenoch received 40 votes, Tom Tugendhat received 37 and Suella Braverman received 32.
The 358 Tory lawmakers had crammed into a humid corridor at Parliament on Wednesday afternoon to line up and cast their ballots in a grand room hung with oil paintings. Security staff made them hand over their phones to ensure secrecy.
Further rounds of voting will take place on Thursday and, if needed, next week, until just two candidates remain.
The final two contenders will face a run-off vote by about 180,000 Conservative Party members across the country. The winner is scheduled to be announced on September 5 and will automatically become prime minister, without the need for a national election.
Colombo: Known as The Terminator to family and foes alike for his ruthless crushing of Tamil rebels to end a decades-long civil war, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s rule is drawing to a close with him a fugitive and his island’s economy in ruins. Rajapaksa, one of a clan of four brothers who have dominated the country’s politics in recent years, was defence secretary under his brother Mahinda’s Rajapaksa’s presidency from 2005-15.
What brought down the Sri Lankan economy? The one-line answer to this question is that it has been a combination of bad luck, bad policy, and bad politics. An April 6 analysis by Pavitra Kanagaraj in Hindustan Times pointed out that the compound annual growth rate of Sri Lanka’s GDP was just above 3% between 2015 and 2019, a sharp fall from the 6% figure for the 10-year period ending 2015.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on Wednesday after months of inflation-fueled protests, temporarily leaving a power vacuum in his wake as demonstrators continued to seize government buildings in a push for new leadership. Later in the day, Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena confirmed that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was acting president — a move that inflamed protesters who also want him gone. They later seized the national broadcaster, taking it off the air.
A London court is finally set to decide who controls more than $1 billion of Venezuelan gold stored in the Bank of England’s vaults. The trial comes after the British government recognized Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who’s won a series of legal clashes in the UK as the Venezuelan president. His lawyers said Wednesday the Venezuelan courts demonstrated “systemic partiality and lack of independence.” Guaido’s camp claimed it will be used for future generations of Venezuelans.