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Boris Johnson struggles to gain support for British PM comeback bid, Altar enters race

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  • Sunak officially announced that he will run
  • The first voting will take place on Monday.
  • Johnson’s supporters say he may go to the polls
  • Altar is clearly the leader among MPs.

LONDON, October 23 (Reuters) – Boris Johnson as UK prime minister is on Sunday to garner enough support to make a shocking comeback, after leading figures on the Conservative Party’s right wing rallied around Rishi Sunak, who was once accused of betraying him. He was fighting the day. .

Sunak, 42, the former finance minister, confirmed on Sunday that he will be entering the competition to replace Liz Truss, promising to resolve the country’s “profound economic crisis” with “honesty, professionalism and accountability”.

“I want to fix our economy, unite our party and surrender for our country,” said Sunak, who was accused by Johnson’s supporters of ending his previous three-year term.

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Sunak left the cabinet in July, triggering an unprecedented ministerial revolt against Johnson.

Clearly the frontman’s statement drops the gauntlet on Johnson, who is returning from a Caribbean vacation to secure the support of 100 lawmakers to participate in Monday’s vote.

During his previous stint on Downing Street, he was supported by many different factions in the party, including those on the right who led Britain’s departure from the European Union.

This time, however, many previous supporters told Johnson he needed to step aside, noting that the country needed stability after Truss’s six-week chaotic rule caused turmoil in financial markets and slammed the pound’s value.

Johnson is also still facing a privileges committee investigation into whether he misled parliament on Downing Street parties during the COVID-19 lockdowns. If found guilty, he may be forced to resign or be removed from office.

“This is not the time for Boris’ style,” Steve Baker, an influential MP for the right-wing party supporting Sunak, told Sky News. “I’m afraid the problem is because of privileges, Boris it would be a guaranteed disaster.”

Britain was plunged into another leadership battle after Truss was forced to resign after his radical economic policies raised borrowing costs and mortgage rates at a time of rising energy and food bills.

Sunak, Johnson, and former defense secretary Penny Mordaunt are battling to become the nation’s fifth prime minister in six years.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer said the war at the top of the Conservatives was a “ridiculous, chaotic circus” and the focus was on the millions of Britons struggling to pay the bills.

The Labor Party leader, along with other opposition parties, called for a national election.

ABSOLUTELY UNPOPULAR

While the prospect of Johnson’s return was a polarizing issue for many in the divided Conservative Party, his popularity among the electorate had also declined before he was impeached.

According to some lawmakers, he is a vote winner who can appeal to the nation with his celebrity image and brand of energetic optimism. For others, he is a toxic figure who will fail to unify the party and therefore undermine efforts to build a stable leadership to calm shaky financial markets.

Secretary of State James Cleverly endorsed Johnson on Sunday, saying he “learned lessons from his time at #10 and will ensure that he stays focused on the country’s needs from day one.”

However, Sunak continued to expand his leadership among lawmakers. Sky News put its support at 140 papers, and Johnson at 59. About 130 deputies did not make a public statement.

If elected, Sunak will become the first prime minister of Indian descent in the UK.

His family immigrated to England in the 1960s, when many people from Britain’s former colonies came to help rebuild the country after the Second World War.

After graduating from Oxford University, he later went to Stanford University where he met his wife Akshata Murthy, whose father is Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy and founder of outsourcing giant Infosys Ltd.

Sunak first gained national attention at age 39 when Johnson became finance minister when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK and developed a leave plan to support millions of people through multiple lockdowns.

“I served as your chancellor, helping to steer our economy through the most difficult times,” Sunak said on Sunday. Said. “The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities – if we make the right choice – are extraordinary.”

Despite polls showing that Sunak is more popular in the country, he is deeply disliked by the majority of party members after he accused Sunak of bringing down Johnson.

Under the rules of the accelerated contest, only one candidate will be elected prime minister on Monday if he gets the support of 100 Conservative lawmakers.

If the two candidates pass the threshold, they will go to vote on party membership, and the winner will be announced on Friday, just days before finance minister Jeremy Hunt will announce the country’s finances on October 31.

The Telegraph reported that Johnson will not remove Hunt.

Johnson’s supporters say he has the support of more than 100 lawmakers, but many remain silent as they still have government jobs.

One supporter, James Duddridge, said Johnson spoke to his supporters on Sunday and said he was “in good shape” and dressed smartly.

So far, none of the three candidates has given any details on what policies they will pursue if they become prime minister.

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Reporting from Kate Holton; Editing by Paul Sandle and Toby Chopra

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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