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WEDNESDAY, September 28, 2022
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UK leadership contenders fight to prove why they should be next PM

UK leadership contenders fight to prove why they should be next PM

MONDAY, July 18, 2022

The five Conservative contenders still vying to be Britain's next prime minister clashed during a televised debate on Sunday, each trying to prove why they should take over leadership of the country.

With no clear candidate to succeed Boris Johnson, who is stepping down after a series of scandals, the battle to be the next leader remains unpredictable and increasingly fractious, exposing rifts in the ruling Conservative Party.

Former Equalities Minister and leadership contender, Kemi Badenoch, stressed that "serving in government is not easy," while accusing rival Tom Tugendhat of a lack of experience in this area.

"It's very easy for him (Tugendhat) to criticise what we've been doing. But we have been out there on the frontline,” Badenoch said.

Tugendhat responded by saying that he had served on the frontline in Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as arguing that we were on the frontline "of the argument against Putin, and against China." 

Ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak has emerged as the favourite among the 358 Conservative lawmakers, who will hold further votes this week to whittle down the field of contenders to a final two.

Sunak, who is married to Akshata Murty, addressed criticism over his wife's family wealth, saying that he was "incredibly" proud of what her family have built. 

"My father-in-law, came from absolutely nothing, and just had a dream and a couple of hundred pounds that my mother-in-law's savings provided him," he said. 

"It's an incredibly conservative story."

Whoever gets the job will take on rocketing inflation and low economic growth, as well as the public's lack of confidence in politics after Johnson's scandal-ridden time in power.

Opinion polls also suggest the Conservatives are falling significantly behind the opposition Labour Party.

One candidate will be knocked out every day in the next three days, leaving a final two to face the verdict of Conservative Party members. They will vote for the winner who will be announced on Sept. 5.