Nigerian-born Kemi Badenoch knocked out of Tory leadership race

By Orowo Victoria Ojieh

Ms Kemi Badenoch is the latest leadership contender to be knocked out of the race to become United Kingdom’s Prime Minister.

The former equalities minister finished bottom on Tuesday in the fourth round of voting by Conservative MPs and was eliminated, leaving Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt as the final three in the contest to replace Boris Johnson.

Badenoch exited the race with 59 votes, while former chancellor Rishi Sunak again topped the fourth ballot with 118, adding three to his tally from Monday suggesting he is likely to secure a spot in the final two places.

Mordaunt came second, adding 10 supporters to reach 92, while Foreign Secretary Li Truss had the most cause for optimism with 86 votes, an increase of 15 in a day.

Badenoch took to Twitter to thank her supporters for what her campaign had achieved in two weeks.

A spokesman for Ms Badenoch said, “this is a great achievement and demonstrates the support for her honest politics and vision of change for the country and the Conservative Party.”

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The three remaining candidates will face a further vote by MPs on Wednesday to decide who will make the final two.

The remaining runners will not face each other in a debate that had been scheduled by Sky News for Tuesday night. It was planned to give Tory MPs a final chance to assess the contenders before Wednesday’s ballot, but it was canceled  after Mr. Sunak and Truss said they would not take part.

They tore shreds out of each other during ITV’s debate on Friday.

Conservative MPs are said to be concerned about the damage the previous debates have done to the image of the party after exposing disagreements and splits between the leading candidates.

The leadership contest was triggered after Johnson announced he would be leaving Downing Street after a large mass of ministerial resignations over series of scandals.

He will remain as prime minister until his successor has been named.

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