Rishi Sunak is set to become Britain’s next Prime Minister, and the first person of colour to hold the office.
Sunak emerged over former leader Boris Johnson and Penny Mourdaunt in the truncated process to replace Liz Truss as the leader.
“Rishi has my full support,” Mourdant said in a concession statement on Monday afternoon local time.
Johnson dramatically quit the race on Sunday night, ending a short-lived, high-profile attempt to return to the prime minister’s job he was ousted from a little more than three months ago amid ethics scandals.
He was the only candidate with confirmed support from more than 100 lawmakers, the number needed to run in the election.
His backers claimed he had been endorsed by more than half of the 357 Conservative lawmakers in Parliament.
The former Treasury chief will be Britain’s first leader of colour and faces the task of stabilizing the party and country during economic and political turbulence.
Sunak had been the strong favourite as the governing Conservative Party sought stability at a time of immense economic challenges and after months of chaos that consumed the past two leaders.
Truss’s short tenure of just over six weeks was marked by shock over the government’s mini-budget, which roiled British markets, and internal party dissension leading to cabinet departures and backbenchers expressing a lack of confidence in Truss.
Sunak’s position strengthened after former leader Boris Johnson dropped out of the Conservative Party leadership contest. The party is choosing Britain’s third prime minister this year following Liz Truss’ resignation after a turbulent 45-day term.
At 42, he’ll also be the youngest British prime minister in more than 200 years.
He has promised “integrity, professionalism and accountability” if he forms a government — a nod to the growing to desire for a leader who can tackle the country’s problems.
Sunak will be asked by King Charles III to form a government and will become the prime minister in a handover of power from Truss later Monday or on Tuesday.