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Rishi Sunak to become next prime minister

Rishi Sunak to become next prime minister
New UK prime minister Rishi Sunak (Image credit: REUTERS/John Sibley)

Rishi Sunak has won the race to become the UK’s next prime minister after his top rival Penny Mordaunt conceded today (October 24).

Sunak, 42, was previously chancellor of the exchequer. He will be the first British prime minister of colour, and the youngest prime minister in modern political history.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson did begin to canvas support in an effort to secure the role for a second time, but decided to pull out from the race last night (October 23). He has said he finished on 102 Tory member endorsements, while Mordaunt's team said she finished on 90.

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Sunak's appointment follows the departure of Liz Truss last week, who resigned after 44 days in the role.

Truss was told to quit by senior Tory members, according to the FT, the day after the home secretary, Suella Braverman, quit the government and used her resignation letter to issue a thinly-veiled swipe at the PM.

Sunak previously went up against Truss for PM in September, but lost. 

He had accused Truss of planning to borrow £50bn to fund her programme of tax cuts which were announced in a "mini" Budget before nearly all being reversed this month.

Truss did not give Sunak a job in her new cabinet during her short tenure. Instead, she appointed Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor but later removed him and gave Jeremy Hunt the job.

This is the second Tory leadership race began this year, with the first beginning in July after former leader Boris Johnson announced his resignation. His departure was preempted by at least 50 government minister resignations in less than a week.

Resignations began after it came to light that Johnson appointed now-disgraced former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher despite being briefed on his alleged sexual misconduct.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com