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UK PM race: Rishi Sunak wins first round

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak won the first round of the UK prime ministerial race on July 13 with 88 votes, as the shortlist for the new Conservative Party leader narrowed down from eight to six candidates.

Attorney General Suella Braverman, the other British Indian candidate, came in last at 32 votes, behind Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt (67 votes), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (50 votes), former minister Kemi Badenoch (40 votes) and backbencher Tom Tugendhat (37 votes). Newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi (25 votes) and former Cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt (18 votes) are out of the race after failing to hit the 30 MPs mark.

The next round of voting by the 358 Conservative members of Parliament to pick their favourites left on the ballot paper is scheduled for July 14, when the field of candidates will be narrowed down even further to a shorter list of finalists.

Under the timetable set by the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, the deadline to whittle down the shortlist to just two remaining candidates is July 21.

The process will then open to postal ballots by the wider Conservative Party membership. The candidate who receives the most votes will be elected the new Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister leader on September 5.

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