Tory leadership race ‘most vicious’ yet says Rigby
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The final contenders will go head to head in a series of live TV debates this weekend, with Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat all vying to appeal to the public and remain in the contest. Former Chancellor Mr Sunak came out on top after the second-round ballot of Tory MPs on Thursday, July 14, with 101 votes.
This was followed by Trade Minister Ms Mordaunt, with 83 votes, and Foreign Secretary Ms Truss in third with 64 votes.
Ms Badenoch received the backing of 49 MPs and Mr Tugendhat received 32 votes, also remaining.
But Attorney General Suella Braverman was eliminated with just 27 votes.
The candidates will face off in a series of three live debates with the first aired on Channel 4 on Friday, July 15.
Channel 4 confirmed all five candidates will be taking part in its debate.
Further televised clashes are scheduled for Sunday on ITV and Monday night, Sky News’s Kay Burley will host a debate with questions from a live virtual audience.
Ms Mordaunt is the current favourite to become the next Prime Minister with Betfair Exchange offering odds of 8/11.
Mr Sunak is the second favourite, with odds of 7/2, and Ms Truss is in third, with odds of 5/1.
Both Ms Badenoch and Mr Tugendhat are considered outsiders with odds of 28/1 and 229/1 respectively.
A third-round ballot will take place on Monday, July 18 with any candidate with less than 30 votes of support or who finishes last will be knocked out of the contest.
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Votes will continue until two contenders remain, and finalists are expected to be confirmed by Thursday, July 21.
The pair will go head to head in a summer hustings and 160,000 Conservative Party members will decide their fate in a postal vote.
Chair of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady said a new Prime Minister will be announced on September 5.
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