‘I am the underdog’, says UK PM candidate Sunak

GRANTHAM (ENGLAND): Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunakone of two remaining candidates to become Britain’s next prime minister, described himself as the underdog in the contest on Saturday.
Sunak’s resignation sparked an uprising with Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreeing to resign after a string of scandals. Members of the ruling Conservative Party will vote for a successor in the summer, with an announcement on September 5.
Sunak led all ballots among Conservative Party lawmakers to narrow the field to two candidates.
But it is Foreign Minister Liz truss which so far seems to have gained the advantage among the 200,000 members of the ruling party who will ultimately choose the winner.
Truss was 24 points ahead of Sunak in a YouGov poll of members of the Conservative Party published Thursday.
“Don’t doubt, I’m the underdog,” Sunak said in a speech in Grantham, central England, the hometown of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Truss would be only Britain’s third female prime minister after Thatcher and Theresa May, while Sunak would be the country’s first leader of Indian descent.
“The armed forces want this to be a coronation for the other candidate, but I think the members want a choice and they are willing to listen,” he said.
So far, the focus has been on pledges, or non-commitments, to cut taxes, at a time when many people are struggling, along with defense spending and energy policy.
In his speech, Sunak laid out his Thatcherite credentials and pledged careful management of the economy before tax cuts. He criticized it as an arbitrary promise by Truss to increase defense spending to 3% of GDP by 2030.
In an interview for the Times newspaper on Saturday, Sunak said he would put the government in a crisis situation when it takes office.

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