Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak has won the first round of voting by MPs to choose the next Conservative leader and prime minister.

He got 88 votes, with Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt in second place on 67 and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss third on 50.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt were eliminated from the race.

Those still in the contest face another round of voting on Thursday.

The field is expected to be narrowed to two by the end of next week, and then around 160,000 Tory members decide which candidate they want to become the next party leader and prime minister.

The result will be announced on 5 September.

The remaining six hopefuls are now scrambling for support from the MPs who backed Mr Hunt and Mr Zahawi.

Mr Hunt told the BBC he would be supporting Mr Sunak in the race.

Mr Sunak, who quit as chancellor last week in protest at Boris Johnson’s running of the government, told the BBC he felt “great” about the result.

Leaving the Commons room where the vote was announced, Ms Mordaunt said she was “very honoured” by her showing.

A spokeswoman for Ms Truss said: “Now is the time for colleagues to unite behind the candidate who will cut taxes, deliver the real economic change we need from day one and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine.

“Liz has the experience to deliver the benefits of Brexit from day one, grow our economy and support working families.”

Mr Tugendhat, a senior backbench MP, tweeted: “This is a fantastic result. I’m delighted to be going through to the next round with the momentum we need to change this country for the better. Our country needs a clean start.”

SOURCEBBC
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