The race for the succession of Boris Johnson has been reduced to three after the elimination of the fourth in discord and favorite of the right wing of the Conservative Party, Kemi Badenoch, with 59 votes in the last batch among the ‘tories’ parliamentarians. Rishi Sunak (118), Penny Mordaunt (92) and Liz Truss (86) will meet again on Wednesday and from there the two finalists will come out who will have to submit to the vote of the more than 150,000 militants throughout the month of August, until the proclamation of a new leader on September 5.

The removal of Badenoch, 42, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, leaves a big hole in the hard wing of the party, which is likely to lean towards Foreign Secretary Liz Truss down the stretch. Badenoch aired her “culture war” during her campaign and lashed out at former Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt for her pro-trans rights stance.

Badenoch had also distanced himself from the pack of deputies announcing his rejection of the “zero emission” goal for 2050 sponsored by Boris Johnson, with whom he came to work as Undersecretary for Equality, although he resigned his position in the last cascade of resignations that brought about the downfall of the premier.

Although she started the race for the Conservative leadership as a fringe contender, Badenoch rose through the ranks and featured prominently in two television debates. Her ascension triggered an inevitable shift to the right of the favored candidates, who will compete to attract her supporters in Wednesday’s vote.

Rishi Sunak led the race from the starting lines, but his momentum was deflated by the rise of Penny Mordaunt, the grassroots’ favorite candidate. Liz Truss has struggled on the campaign trail but can clearly benefit from Badenoch’s withdrawal and make the most of the unofficial endorsement of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has clearly tipped her as her possible successor.

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