Rishi Sunak is now in the lead for prime minister as Boris Johnson heads back to London.
Rishi Sunak’s support is critical to reaching the 100 nominations from MPs he needs to run for the next Conservative leader and prime minister.
As of now, 93 Tory MPs have also supported the ex-chancellor, but a promotional source said he already has 100.
Former leader Boris Johnson, who has 44 supporters and is in second place, is about to run to replace Liz Truss. He is on his way back from a vacation in the Caribbean.
Penny Mordaunt was the first to say she was running, and so far she has 21 supporters.
Sir James Duddridge, who is in charge of trade and backs Mr. Johnson told BBC News . “He is ready to go when he gets home.”
Both Mr. Sunak and Mr. Johnson haven’t officially started their campaigns yet, but that hasn’t stopped supporters from saying they will vote for them.
Mr. Johnson is on a flight back to London from a vacation in the Dominican Republic. He will get there on Saturday morning.
A BBC reporter on the flight says that his large security team stopped some passengers from taking selfies when they tried.
MPs will wait to see if he says anything when he gets off the plane.
BBC News heard from sources in Mr. Sunak’s campaign that he already had the 100 nominations he needed to get on the ballot.
Mr. Sunak got support from a number of senior colleagues, like former chancellor and health secretary Sajid Javid, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat, and former health secretary Matt Hancock.
“It is very clear that Rishi Sunak has what it takes to meet the challenges we face. Mr. Javid said, “like that . “He is the best choice to lead our party and move the country forward.”
Tobias Ellwood, another supporter, said he was the 100th MP to back Mr. Sunak. “It’s time for a centrist, stable, fiscally responsible government that can provide credible leadership at home and abroad.” “He said.”
Supporters of Mr. Johnson said that the former prime minister had “momentum and support.” Mr. Duddridge said, “He is the only person who has won an election and has a track record in London and with Brexit. And in getting the power we now have. ”
“I’m ready for it.”
Sir James also read what he said was a message from Mr. Johnson to the PA Media news agency that seemed to confirm his bid: “I’m flying back, Dudders. This is what we’re going to do. I’m ready to go. ”
The I newspaper said that the former leader of the Tory party talked to MPs while on vacation and told them that if he were elected, he would “adopt a more inclusive style of governing and bring more discipline to the Downing Street operation.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman are considering backing Mr. Johnson. This could bring the right of the Tory party together.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, a Tory MP, told BBC Newsnight that Mr. Johnson hasn’t officially announced his campaign because “he’s probably waiting to see if he feels he has the support.” I’d say he’s certainly up for it.”
Also, Tory MP Craig Williams, who supports Rishi Sunak, said that he will likely answer calls to run for leader “in the coming hours or days” because “clearly over a hundred colleagues in parliament have publicly declared their support.”
Ms. Mordaunt, who is currently the leader of the House of Commons, said earlier that she would run for prime minister. She said that colleagues had encouraged her to do so, and she promised to “unite our country, keep our promises, and win the next [general election]”.
She told the Daily Telegraph in the end,
“We owe it to the country to have a clear plan for how we will do what we say we will do. It’s not enough to say that we understand what they’re going through. How much people think we can help them should be a measure of our success. ”
“I will accomplish this with the assistance of the talents of every Conservative Party member and citizen of the nation.” Bob Seely, a Conservative MP who supports Penny Mordaunt, said, “I think we owe the country a collective responsibility to apologise.” He also said that he thinks Ms. Mordaunt has the best chance of bringing “unity and leadership” to the party.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who has said he is “leaning” toward supporting Mr. Johnson, and current Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, are among those who have said they will not run.
Along with Mr. Tugendhat and former cabinet minister Michael Gove, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said he will not run.
Candidates have until Monday at 14:00 BST to get 100 supporters. If three candidates reach that number, Conservative MPs will vote on the same day to get rid of one of them.
The MPs will vote “indicatively” on the final two candidates, and the winner will be chosen by party members in an online vote that will end next Friday.