Rishi Sunak is believed to have become the first Tory leadership candidate to have amassed sufficient support to make it to the ballot of Conservative colleagues.
The former chancellor’s supporters said on Friday night he had received nominations from 100 Tory MPs to pass the threshold required way ahead of Monday’s deadline.
Tobias Ellwood claims to be Rishi Sunak’s 100th supporter – if he is, that would mean the former chancellor has already passed the threshold for nominations to be the next Tory leader.
The free mkt experiment is over – it’s been a low point in our Party’s great history.— Tobias Ellwood MP (@Tobias_Ellwood) October 21, 2022
The reset begins.
Time for centrist, stable, fiscally responsible Government offering credible domestic & international leadership.
Honoured to be the 100th Tory MP to support #Ready4Rishi pic.twitter.com/bOmlQLrtQn
A campaign source has also told the PA news agency that Sunak has reached the magic number. Prospective candidates need 100 nominations from Tory MPs in order to enter a possible first ballot.
The BBC has been keeping a tally of MPs who have either publicly supported Sunak or indicated to the BBC that they back him. That figure is currently at 84.
Other Tories who have in the last few moments said they’re backing Sunak include former health secretary Matt Hancock and Tom Tugendhat.
At this moment in time, there has been no official announcement from Sunak about his intention to run.
Boris Johnson was lagging behind, though like Sunak he has not formally declared or entered the country yet.
However, Johnson has told allies he is “up for it” and would fly back from his holiday in the Dominican Republic to enter the race.