Tory MPs set tight timetable for party leadership contest

Conservative MPs on Monday will set a tight timetable for the party’s leadership contest, with the goal of shrinking the expanded list of candidates to two shortlists next Wednesday. .

Eleven candidates have officially declared their intention to be the next British Prime Ministerafter Foreign Minister Liz Truss and little-known Foreign Minister Rehman Chishti put up the tenders.

Former prime minister Rishi Sunak has more than 30 Tory MPs backing him and is the bookies’ favorite candidate, while other candidates are lining up to criticize him for raising taxes during his time in office. The financial.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer on Monday condemned the “economic fiction” that he claims has marked the Tory run-off so far, with candidates competing against each other to promise cuts most ambitious tax.

There were also claims from Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed prime minister last week, that he had been the victim of “smears” about his financial affairs.

To cut short what could quickly become a divisive and stiff competition, a newly elected executive of Tory partyThe 1922 committee of opponents, which governs the selection of Conservative Party leaders, will meet on Monday to finalize the rules and timetable.

A senior MP close to the committee said it was “likely” that MPs would require candidates to secure the support of at least 10% of parliamentarians to go to the ballot box, equivalent to with 36 MPs.

Another senior MP suggested that the threshold could be 20 MPs. Even that bar has the potential to immediately eliminate lesser-known candidates who have fewer supporters.

The aim is to reduce the number of candidates to perhaps three or four later this week in a series of “knockout” votes. A final shortlist of two will then be selected by MPs before the House of Commons begins its summer break on July 21.

Boris Johnson will remain as caretaker prime minister until Conservative members elect a new leader from the shortlist. The aim is to complete the process before MPs return to Westminster on September 5.

As the campaign began in earnest, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng backed Truss, saying she had opposed Sunak’s increase in National Insurance rates – a policy aimed at funding the NHS and improving care. society.

Meanwhile, former Treasury Secretary Robert Jenrick endorsed Sunak and defended the former prime minister for holding a US green card, or permanent resident, while still an MP.

“I actually think it’s quite refreshing that we can have a prime minister who has lived and worked around the world [and] is extremely knowledgeable about finance and technology,” he told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Zahawi told Sky News he is “clearly being smeared” by allegations that his financial affairs are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs.

“I didn’t know about this,” he said. “I always file my taxes – I have paid taxes in the UK.”

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