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Rishi Sunak emerges favourite to be the next UK PM; Mordaunt too in the running

Sunak had predicted the market reaction to Liz Truss' tax-cut reforms

Rishi Sunak Former UK chancellor Rishi Sunak

As UK Prime Minister Liz Truss announces her resignation following her disastrous tax-cut plan, the world is now watching as who would now take over the reins of the Conservative Party. 

Though many names are doing rounds, including former Prime Minister Boris Johnsons, the hot favourite seems to be the former chancellor Rishi Sunak. If elected, Sunak will also be the first Indian-origin person to hold the UK Prime Minister's office. 

Sunak, who lost out to Truss six weeks ago in the last contest for the hot seat, had claimed that he would not cut taxes until inflation was under control. But, was outrun by Truss and her plan for massive tax cuts. 

But, his stances are now being viewed as 'prophetic' after his assumptions on the economic policy have come to pass. Sunak had warned that Truss' unfunded tax cuts could cause chaos in the market. As he predicted, the currency and bond traders triggered bond yields to spike and the pound to collapse to a record dollar low.

He also enjoys the best ratings as of now as a new YouGov poll gives him an overall net favourability rating of 18. Many loyalists of former PM Boris Johnson too want the party to bring Sunak back.

"He has the plan & credibility to restore financial stability, help get inflation down & deliver sustainable tax cuts over time; and unite the Conservatives by bringing the best talent into govt to deliver for the British people," former Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said on Twitter.

But, despite being the minister who got Britain through the COVID pandemic, Sunak continues to be controversial as many view him as a 'traitor who knifed Boris Johnson.' 

Earlier reports had mentioned how Johnson had told his allies to back "anyone but Rishi Sunak" during the race to PM, which saw Truss emerging as a winner. Reason: it was Sunak's dramatic decision to quit in July which ended up in Johnson's reluctant resignation. 

Sunak had also courted controversy after it came to light that his wife Akshata Murty, daughter of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, did not pay tax on income earner oversees. She had claimed 'non-dom' status and does not pay tax on earnings from outside the U.K. 

Also in the running is Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the House of Commons. Six weeks ago, she had come third in the last leadership election. She is a popular figure among the Tories’ grassroots, and was a strong Brexit supporter. She is expected to perform well among the party membership, in part due to her military credentials, according to a CNN report.

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