Former British finance minister Rishi Sunak could become the country’s next prime minister if his rival Penny Mordaunt fails to win the support of 100 MPs by today. Sunak had the backing of 142 members of parliament.
Penny Mordaunt currently has the backing of 29 MPs.
Boris Johnson, who was sacked in July and left office in September, withdrew from the race just hours before their nomination deadline.
If Mordaunt fails to garner the support of 100 MPs by 2pm local time on Monday, Rishi Sunak will automatically become prime minister.
Under the rules announced on Thursday, up to three Tory MPs will be able to run, as the party has set a threshold of 100 MPs so that candidates can even be on the ballot and have a total 357 MPs in the party.
The final two candidates will face a snap online vote of about 170,000 Tory members, with the new leader elected next Friday.
Rishi Sunak officially announced his candidacy yesterday, saying he aims to repair the economy, unite the party and “devote to the country”.
Johnson and Sunak met last night amid speculation about a deal between the two, despite the bitterness caused by Sunak’s role in Johnson’s downfall as prime minister.