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Wednesday, 22 March 2023
UK leadership contender Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North. Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons - Photo. Official Facebook page

Penny Mordaunt, one of two candidates to be Britain's next prime minister, is still in the leadership race and is gaining endorsements, a campaign spokesperson said on Monday (Oct 24).

"Penny is speaking to colleagues from across the party. She's getting the numbers and she's in it to win it," the spokesperson said in a statement.

However, Rishi Sunak is the firm favourite to replace Liz Truss as UK prime minister - with the support of more than half of Tory MPs.

Her campaign claims to have 90 Tory MPs on her side - although fewer than 30 supporters have confirmed their backing publicly.

As the BBC has been reporting, fewer than 30 Mordaunt-backers have declared their support publicly - although her team says she has many more.

Sir Roger told BBC Radio 5 Live that Mordaunt can "pull everything together" as "chairman of the board" with Jeremy Hunt staying as chancellor.

But he added that if Rishi Sunak won, he would have his support.

Key backers of Boris Johnson - who dropped out of the contest on Sunday evening (Oct 23) - are calling for the party to get behind Sunak.

They include ex-home secretary Priti Patel and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

Ex-PM Boris Johnson pulls out of race for 10 Downing Street

Tory MP Sir Roger Gale, who is supporting Penny Mordaunt, says he's “more than hopeful” she will secure the backing of 100 MPs by today's 14:00 deadline.

Liz Truss announced Thursday (Oct 20) outside Downing Street that she is resigning as prime minister.

Truss accepted that she could not deliver the promises she made when she was running for Conservative leader, having lost the faith of her party.