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Rishi Sunak leads race to become next UK PM

Almost half of all Conservative Party lawmakers – 169 out of 357 – have gone public with their support for who they want to succeed Liz Truss as the next UK prime minister.

According to BBC, Rishi Sunak has reached 100 public backers needed to qualify as a candidate in the leadership race.

The current tally is: Rishi Sunak – 102 lawmakers, Boris Johnson (Ms Truss’s immediate predecessor) – 46 lawmakers, Penny Mordaunt – 21 lawmakers.

Boris Johnson has landed at Gatwick airport after a 10-hour flight from the Dominican Republic, where he was staying in a luxury resort with his wife and children.

He has not officially or directly spoken yet about whether he plans to run for the party leadership.

Former chancellor (or finance minister), Rishi Sunak was seen leaving his London home a few moments ago but declined to speak to waiting reporters.

He acknowledged photographers as he got into a car but kept tight-lipped when asked whether he was running to replace his former leadership rival, Liz Truss.

Mr Sunak is out in front among Conservative lawmakers, with his supporters saying he has already reached the 100 parliamentarians needed to get him on Monday’s ballot.

Writing by Fany Olumoye; Editing by Omotola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor