Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Mordaunt should be allowed to Tory vote if Truss or Sunak drop out, says David Davis

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The former cabinet minister says party rules need a contingency plan for what happens if a candidate suddenly withdraws

Under current rules, if their opponent withdrew their candidacy at that point, either Sunak or Truss would automatically become party leader and thus prime minister.

Penny Mordaunt should be put on the Tory members’ ballot if either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak are now suddenly out of the party leadership election, urged former Cabinet Secretary David Davis.

But Mr Davis, the former Brexit secretary, has called for contingency plans to be put in place for a rule change to allow MPs’ third election to be put to the vote immediately.

Mr Davis, who supported Ms Mordaunt in the earlier round of the competition, said the key is to allow rank and file members to retain a say in the outcome and not repeat the situation in 2016 when Andrea Leadsom herself withdrew from the competition and Theresa May was elected by default without a member vote.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 The week in WestminsterMr Davis said: “I think it’s an incredibly important part of the process that there are two finals, not one final.

“[This is] for all sorts of reasons. Maybe someone drops out, gets sick, something happens, maybe you discover something. Keep in mind that again this is a process of discovery and transparency, and you might suddenly find something that disqualifies you, who knows?

“So there really should be a rule that says if one falls out, we restart the last leg with number three or whoever comes next.”

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