Rishi Sunak was on Monday elected Conservative leader and will become the next British prime minister, after rival Penny Mordaunt failed to secure the necessary 100 nominations from her fellow MPs.
“Rishi has my full support,” Ms Mordaunt tweeted right after it became clear who will head into No 10, adding that the decision spotlights the “diversity and talent of our party”.
The contest, triggered by outgoing leader Liz Truss’s resignation on Thursday, had required candidates to secure the support of at least 100 Conservative MPs. Only Mr Sunak made the threshold. At 42, Mr Sunak is the youngest and the first person of colour to hold the post of prime minister.
“These are unprecedented times. Despite the compressed timetable for the leadership contest it is clear that colleagues feel we need certainty today,” Ms Mordaunt said in a statement.
— Penny Mordaunt (@PennyMordaunt) October 24, 2022
“As a result, we have now chosen our next Prime Minister. This decision is an historic one and shows, once again, the diversity and talent of our party. Rishi has my full support.
“We all owe it to the country, to each other and to Rishi to unite and work together for the good of the nation. There is much work to be done,” she said.
Just weeks after he lost out to Liz Truss to lead the ruling Tories, Mr Sunak has pulled off a stunning reversal in fortunes.