Great Britain

Rishi Sunak is in pole position to replace Boris Johnson as Tory boss, say party members


CASH-splashing Rishi Sunak is in pole position to replace Boris Johnson as Tory boss, say party members.

They have put the Chancellor at the top of the pile to step up when the PM calls it a day.

Mr Sunak is riding high after his £400billion spending splurge to try to address the Covid crisis.

He won 31 per cent of the Conservative voters’ favour — with no other candidate getting more than 12 per cent.

Trade Secretary Liz Truss leads the chasing pack, with Cabinet Office minister Penny Mordaunt third in a poll for the true-blue fansite Conservative Home.

Anti-lockdown former minister Steve Baker polled higher than established big-hitters Michael Gove and Priti Patel.

Website editor Paul Goodman said: “The Chancellor gains from being new.

"Unlike Gove, Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid, he has not fought a leadership election, and there is about him a vague but powerful sense of being the coming thing.”

It remains to be seen if the Chancellor’s appeal continues after he starts to pay off the pandemic bill.

He confirmed yesterday the £65billion furlough scheme ends in September, saying his “plan is working” to get the nation back on its feet.

It has started to wind down, with employers now paying ten per cent of the cash this month, which rises to 20 per cent next month.

Mr Sunak said: “I am confident that with the pace of the economic reopening and people’s hiring intentions, the vast majority of people will be able to come back to work.”

Data last week revealed the number on furlough is down to 1.9 million but the New Economics Foundation claims 660,000 are likely to still need it, meaning those jobs are at risk.

Rishi Sunak vows furlough WILL end in September and no plans to extend it

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