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Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak meet for talks as UK Prime Minister’s race heats up: Report

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Amid a Tory leadership contest, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak met for talks on Saturday. Niether has formally applied.

India Today Web Desk

London,UPDATED: Oct 23, 2022 04:17 IST

Rishi Sunak was finance minister in Boris Johnson’s government (Image: Reuters)

By India Today Web Desk: The race to elect a new Conservative Party leader, who will take charge as British Prime Minister next week, flared up on Saturday as rivals Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak held face-to-face talks, AFP news agency quoted multiple reports. Former British Chancellor Rishi Sunak of Indian descent has an early lead in the latest race for Conservative Party leadership as he has already gained the support of at least 100 Tory MPs.

Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has enough support to join the race to become Britain’s next prime minister, his ally and conservative lawmaker James Duddridge said on Saturday, Reuters reported.

Sunak served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Boris Johnson’s government and now the feuding ex-British government colleagues would gather to make leadership bids. Neither of them has formally applied.

Former Prime Minister Johnson, who is vacationing in the Caribbean, was forced to cut short his trip and fly back to London to make a daring political comeback. He met ex-Treasury Secretary Sunak to discuss Britain’s prime minister’s race, the BBC and others reported.

ALSO READ | Rishi Sunak leads UK prime minister’s race even as Boris Johnson plans dramatic return to power | Top marks

The frantic political developments are the result of the resignation of Liz Truss, who stepped down just 45 days into her term. This is the first face-to-face meeting of Conservative party leaders in months after Boris Johnson was removed from power.

The leaders plan to talk about ‘agreeing on a joint ticket’ to avoid a Tory ‘civil war’, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Meanwhile, backbench Conservative MP Lee Anderson posted a photo of Johnson on Facebook, revealing that he supported him after “a long conversation about everything past and present”.

The Tories have now been forced into a second, this time accelerated, leadership contest since the summer after Truss stepped down following her disastrous tax cuts that sparked economic and political unrest. Former Home Secretary Priti Patel has also backed Boris Johnson, along with several other Tory heavyweights.

Penny Mordant is also a strong contender who carries no baggage like Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson. She is a fresh face with a clean slate and a good recent track record.

ALSO READ | Ready for Rishi? Indian MP now favorite to replace Liz Truss as UK Prime Minister

(With input from the agency)

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