U.K. PM race widens with Foreign Minister Liz Truss joining the race

By Orowo Victoria Ojieh with agency report

The race to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and the next British prime minister has broadened further on Monday as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss became another high-profile contestant entering the row to go head-to-head with British Indian Former Minister Rishi Sunak.

Rishi Sunak, former finance minister is the early front runner in the race.

Truss, who has held ministerial jobs in a number of government departments including trade, justice and the treasury, said she would slash taxes and maintain a tough line against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She is seeking to replace Johnson who was forced out on Thursday after his government collapsed over a series of scandals.

Foreign minister Liz Truss

“I will lead a government committed to core Conservative principles: low taxes, a firm grip on spending, driving growth in the economy, and giving people the opportunity to achieve anything they want to achieve,” Truss said in a campaign video.

The race is for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party, with the winner then becoming prime minister.

The leadership race followed one of the most remarkable periods in modern British political history, when more than 50 government ministers quit, denouncing Johnson’s character, integrity and inability to tell the truth.

The aim of the contest is to find a successor by September.

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Many lawmakers are unhappy with Johnson remaining in office until a successor is found, the party is likely to hasten the election process. It could insist that candidates have the backing of around 30 lawmakers to enter the process before voting begins this week to cut the number down to two.

Truss announcement on Monday takes the total number of candidates to 11, including Indian-origin Attorney General Suella Braverman, Iraqi-origin Nadhim Zahawi, Nigerian-origin Kemi Bedanoch, Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat, former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

One Conservative member of parliament said he was astonished by the number of people entering the leadership contest.

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