British MP Priti Patel is no longer in the PM race

LONDON: Conservative MP Rishi SunakHopes of replacing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as Tory leader received a big boost on Tuesday as Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, former Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps all brought their support for his campaign. Shapps dropped out of the leadership race to support Sunak and said Sunak had “the skill and the experience to lead the country”.
Hancock said Sunak had “the character, the experience and the plan to get the UK through” the current headwinds and win the next general election.
Raab said Sunak is “a true conservative imbued – by his parents and grandparents who arrived here in the 1960s – with the values ​​of business, hard work and family. Rishi’s values ​​are our values. Only Rishi can beat Labour.
The former Chancellor of the Exchequer launched his campaign in Westminster on Tuesday and, when asked about the toxic smear campaign against him, said he would run a ‘positive campaign’ focused on what his leadership would deliver and not smear the other candidates for whom he had enormous respect.
“I will not engage in the negativity you may have seen in the media. If others want to, let them. That’s not who we are. We can be better,” he said to thunderous applause, “I want to run an entirely positive campaign. When that is done, we will come together to serve the British people.”
He also praised Johnson, describing him as “one of the most remarkable people” he had ever met and said he would not rewrite history and “demonize” him. “I will not claim now that the things I voted for and the choices I made were somehow unnecessary. While that may be politically inconvenient for me, it’s also the truth,” he said, adding that stepping down as chancellor “was an incredibly difficult and sad decision.”
“Did I disagree with him?” Frequently? Is it defective? Yes. And the rest of us too. Was it no longer working? Yes, and that’s why I quit,” Sunak said.
“We need a return to traditional conservative economic values ​​and that means honesty and responsibility, not fairy tales. It is not credible to promise much more spending and less tax. Once we have mastered inflation, I will reduce the tax burden,” the former Treasury chief said.
He said his Partygate fine and his wife’s non-dom status were not “in his closet.”
“I referred to Lord Geidt who described my behavior and conduct as meticulous and found no conflict, and my wife made her own statement at the time and I respect that. I will continue to ensure that we have very high standards in public service,” Sunak said.
The timetable for the Conservative Party leadership race was announced on Monday. The candidates need the support of at least 20 MPs to get on the ballot and the first round of voting will take place on Wednesday. Sunak already has more than 40 contributors.
Johnson’s allies – Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg – announced on Tuesday that they are backing Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who has been dubbed the ‘stop Rishi’ candidate. while the Minister of the Interior Priti Patel announced that she would not participate in the leadership race. The new prime minister is expected to be announced on September 5.
[Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt and Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat are the others in the running to hit the requisite 20-MPs mark, according to PTI. New chancellor Nadhim Zahawi claims he has the required numbers too and others expected to run include Indian-origin attorney general Suella Braverman, Nigerian-origin Kemi Badenoch, former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, foreign office minister Rehman Chishti and former health secretary Sajid Javid, the news agency reported.]

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