Voting has come to an end in Britain’s Tory party leadership contest, bringing to a close the process decide the next Conservative Leader and Boris Johnson’s successor as the Prime Minister of UK.
Either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will be announced as the winner around 12.30pm on Monday, taking over as UK Prime Minister the following day.
British Foreign Secretary Ms Truss is believed to be on course for victory – according to polls – and in her final message on Friday said she paid tribute to the party members she had met in recent months.
She said: “It has been fantastic meeting and speaking to thousands of members across the whole of the UK over the last six weeks.
“I believe in a brighter and better future for Britain. I have a bold plan that will grow our economy and deliver higher wages, more security for families and world-class public services.
“I’ll do this by cutting taxes, pushing through supply-side reform and slashing red tape that is holding businesses back.
“If I am elected prime minister, I will never let anyone talk us down and I will do everything in my power to make sure our great nation succeeds.”
Mr Sunak, former Chancellor at Downing Street, said he had been “humbled” by his engagement with the party faithful.
In a statement, he said: “I have been humbled to meet so many thousands of our brilliant members and activists over the past six weeks.
“This is a critical election for our country and for the future of the Conservative Party, as we eye a historic fifth term in government.
“We face huge challenges ahead, but also huge opportunities. I know what it takes to get through challenging times. I did it as chancellor and I will do it again as prime minister.”
Earlier Robert Hayward, a former MP and current Tory peer, said he is not convinced Ms Truss’s victory will be by such an emphatic margin, but she remains on course to become the next prime minister.
He said a tighter win will mean it is “absolutely necessary” for Ms Truss to appoint a cabinet that brings together all sides of the Tory parliamentary party.
Mr Sunak has consistently acknowledged he is the underdog and his supporters continue to hope he can cause a surprise.