Bitter race to replace Johnson set to narrow down

London : Another leadership hopeful will be knocked out of the race to become Britain’s next prime minister on Monday, leaving four candidates in what has become an acrimonious and divisive contest to replace Boris Johnson. Since Johnson said he would resign earlier this month after his scandal-ridden administration lost the support of many in his ruling Conservative Party, the race to replace him has taken an ugly turn with several contenders turning their fire on the frontrunner, former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

He has faced criticism on everything from his record in government to the wealth of his wife by those vying to make it to a run-off between the final two candidates, with foreign secretary Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt, a junior trade minister and former defence minister, his most likely opponents. The race has become focused on pledges, or non-pledges, to cut taxes, at a time when Britain’s economy is beset with spiralling inflation, high debt and low growth that have left people with the tightest squeeze on their finances in decades.