(CNN) — Former finance minister Rishi Sunak will be the United Kingdom’s next prime minister after seeing off his lone remaining rival in the fast-tracked race to become Conservative party leader on Monday.
The other potential candidate, Penny Mordaunt, fell by the wayside after failing to meet the threshold of nominations required to progress to the next stage of the race. Moments before the number of nominations were due to be announced, Mordaunt pledged her full support to Sunak.
Sunak will become the first person of color and the first Hindu to lead the UK. At 42, he is also the youngest person to take the office in more than 200 years.
He is set to replace Liz Truss, who will become the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history.
Sunak officially declared he’d be standing on Sunday, after securing the support of 100 Conservative lawmakers, the necessary threshold set by party officials. By Monday he had secured the support of more than half of the party’s 357 MPs.
“The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis. That’s why I am standing to be Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister. I want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country,” he wrote on Twitter.
His campaign got a big boost when his former boss and rival, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, withdrew from the race on Sunday night.
As Britain’s third prime minister in seven weeks, Sunak is facing an enormous task.
His own party is divided and increasingly unpopular following four months of political turmoil and financial market chaos. At the same time, Britain is facing major economic crisis, with many economists believing it is already in recession.
This is a breaking story, more to follow…
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