Rishi Sunak punches air in slick campaign video as he reaches Tory leadership final two

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read

Watch: Rishi Sunak celebrates as he gets to final two in Tory leadership contest

Shouting with relief and punching the air, Rishi Sunak reacted in animated fashion as he discovered he'd made the final two of the Tory leadership race.

The would-be Conservative leader was filmed celebrating with his staffers as part of a slick campaign video released on Twitter when the leadership contest was whittled down to the former chancellor and Liz Truss.

Sunak and current foreign secretary Truss came first and second respectively in the final round of balloting by Conservative MPs, pushing out Penny Mordaunt out of the competition.

In footage released by Sunak's campaign, he is seen leaping into the air as the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, read the result out.

He then walks to his campaign team, embracing them and thanking them for "absolutely smashing it", before walking into a room of supporters to thank them for their efforts.

Sunak, the frontrunner throughout the parliamentary leg of the contest, received 137 votes in the final round of voting.

Truss won 113 votes, narrowly pushing Mordaunt into third place on 105.

Read more: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to go head-to-head to be next prime minister

Rishi Sunak punched the air as found out he was through to the final two to become prime minister. (Rishi Sunak)
Rishi Sunak punched the air as found out he was through to the final two to become prime minister. (Rishi Sunak)

In the video, Sunak only celebrated after Truss' results were read out – despite knowing he was through after Mordaunt's results were read aloud.

In a video message put out after the result, Sunak told supporters, “I won’t let you down."

He added: “I’ll work as hard as I can to get our message out to the country.

“We need to restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite our country.

Read more: Tory leadership race timetable - When the new prime minister will be announced and what happens now

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were selected by Tory MPs as the two candidates to battle it out to be prime minister (Yahoo News UK/Flourish)
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were selected by Tory MPs as the two candidates to battle it out to be prime minister (Yahoo News UK/Flourish)

“I’m confident that we can do that and we’ve got a really important positive message to take out to all our members now – crucially, who is the best person to beat Keir Starmer and the Labour Party at the next election?

“I believe I’m the only candidate who can do that.”

Sunak and Truss will now face a campaign to win the votes of Tory members, with the result of the contest announced on 5 September.

The winner is expected to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister the following day.

Read more: How the vote works and what date will it end?

Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership candidate, Liz Truss celebrates with her supporters in the Houses of Parliament after making it along with Rishsi Sunak to the final two candidates to be Prime minister, London. Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022.
Foreign secretary and Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss celebrates with her supporters at the Houses of Parliament after making it to the final two in the Tory leadership race. (PA)

They will spend the next six weeks travelling around the country to 12 different hustings events, trying to convince more than 180,000 Conservative members they should be the next one at the helm of the party.

Mordaunt had been second in all previous rounds of voting, but a late surge by Truss cost her a place on the ballot.

Truss gained 27 votes, Sunak put on 19 while Mordaunt could only gain an extra 13 supporters.

Bookmakers have made Truss the favourite to win the contest in the country, but Sunak said he was best placed to beat Labour’s Starmer at the next election.

“We need to restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite our country,” the former chancellor said.

“I’m confident that we can do that and we’ve got a really positive message to take out to all our members now – crucially, who is the best person to beat Keir Starmer and the Labour Party at the next election?

“I believe I’m the only candidate who can do that.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting