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Rishi Sunak has vowed not to stand down from the Tory leadership despite Liz Truss's significant lead in the polls.
Mr Sunak and Ms Truss faced a live grilling from Sky News's Kay Burley and scrutiny from Tory members on Thursday night.
Asked by an audience member if he would withdraw from the contest, Mr Sunak said: "The quick answer is no. That's because I'm fighting for something I really believe in and I'm taking my ideas across the country."
Liz Truss recently won the backing of former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, marking the latest in a series of announcements of support for the candidate from Tory bigwigs, including Tom Tugendhat, Ben Wallace and Brandon Lewis.
Both candidates made it through a series of MPs' ballots to enter the final two, but it is now Tory Party members who will decide their fate in the final ballot later this summer.
As they take part in a series of appearances, they will be vying to set out their stalls and convince members that they have the answers to some of Britain's most urgent questions, including the cost-of-living crisis and the Ukraine war.
Here, The Telegraph takes a look at the final two contenders and their publicly declared backers:
Why he is running?
The former chancellor is pitching himself to the party and members as the serious candidate on the economy, who can guide the country through a potential recession by resisting calls for tax cuts.
Significant figures publicly supporting Sunak:
The former No 10 chief of staff was made Health Secretary after the Cabinet revolt against Boris Johnson last month. A loyal supporter of Mr Johnson, the former Brexit Secretary said Mr Sunak “has all the right attributes to take our country forward” and said the former chancellor's “core thing” is “economic competence”.
The Environment Secretary is backing Mr Sunak and in April defended the former chancellor over allegation's about his wife's finances. Mr Eustice said Mr Sunak has “an intuitive consciousness of political risk and can think several moves ahead”.
The Northampton North MP and Cabinet Officer minister backed Mr Sunak before the first round of voting among Tory MPs on July 13, saying: “I have loyally served three Conservative Prime Ministers over the past decade. I know what it takes to make a good PM. And I have no doubt that Rishi will make a great one.”
The Leader of the House of Commons defended the speed with which Mr Sunak produced his slick campaign video, publishing it only 48 hours after Mr Johnson resigned. Mr Spencer said: “Rishi has been at the centre of government for a very long time; as chancellor of the exchequer he was always going to promote himself and promote the Conservative party and the Conservative government. So he would have had access to lots of those snippets of video, and you can pull those things together pretty quickly.”
The Welsh Secretary has been robust in his defence of Mr Sunak, telling Cabinet colleague Nadine Dorries to “wind her neck in” after she attacked the former chancellor's expensive clothing.
Mr Vara, who was appointed Northern Ireland Secretary after Brandon Lewis resigned and is close to Mr Johnson, said: “I have known Rishi Sunak for many years and am confident that in these difficult and challenging times he would be the right person to lead the UK as Prime Minister.”
Lord Hague, a former Tory leader, has pleaded with Conservative Party members to back Mr Sunak. Mr Hague represented the Richmond, Yorkshire, constituency before Mr Sunak and said his replacement was “the most assiduous and effective” he has ever seen.
The endorsement of Lord Lamont, Margaret Thatcher’s treasurer, was a massive boon to Mr Sunak’s camp. As leadership hopefuls competed to demonstrate their Thatcherite credentials, the Tory grandee’s intervention undoubtedly lent legitimacy to Mr Sunak’s plan to prioritise tackling inflation before cutting taxes.
The Deputy Prime Minister was quick to pledge his support for Mr Sunak and was rewarded by introducing him at his campaign launch. Securing the backing of the second most senior Cabinet member gave an early boost to the campaign.
After the former health secretary crashed out at an early stage of the leadership contest, he got behind Mr Sunak, saying he has the “highest standards of integrity” of all the candidates.
Another leadership hopeful at the start of the race, the Transport Secretary lent his support to Mr Sunak, highlighting his early support for Brexit and his “seminal” pamphlet on freeports.
After briefly running for the top job himself, the MP for Gillingham and Rainham swiftly got behind Mr Sunak, saying that his “brilliant” experience as chancellor will be “vital” for tackling the cost-of-living crisis.
The former Conservative party chair, who resigned last month in the wake of the double by-election defeat, was quick to throw his support behind Mr Sunak.
Why she is running?
Ms Truss is marketing herself as a Thatcherite who promises tax cuts, foreign policy experience, and a track record of delivery.
Significant figures publicly supporting Truss:
The Chancellor of the Exchequer formally endorsed Liz Truss to be the next Conservative Party leader back in July comparing her “booster” economic approach to her rival Rishi Sunak’s “doomster” attitude.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions endorsed Ms Truss in July, saying that she has “the full package in terms of experience [and] grittiness”.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is one of the most recent high profile Conservatives to endorse Ms Truss. He accused Mr Sunak of “sleepwalking into a big-state, high-tax, low-growth, social democratic model”.
The former Minister of State for Higher and Further Education said that Mr Sunak's tax hikes are the reason she believes Ms Truss should wing the leadership campaign.
Mr Cleverly, the Education Secretary, has accused Mr Sunak of ignoring the threat posed by China, saying: “I’m very glad that Rishi’s now talking about the issues that Liz has been talking about for quite some time.” Mr Cleverly also said he would support Mr Johnson joining Ms Truss's Cabinet.
Ms Trevelyan played a role in sinking Penny Mordaunt's leadership bid, accusing her of missing ministerial meetings because she was plotting her campaign. She initially supported Tom Tugendhat, but switched her allegiance to Ms Truss after he was eliminated.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee's endorsement is important as he is popular among Conservative Party members and a senior figure in the One Nation group of centrist Tory MPs.
The Defence Secretary said he was backing Ms Truss “not because she’s a slick salesperson, but because she’s authentic” and he also flagged Ms Truss’s pledge to increase defence spending to three per cent of Britain’s GDP by the end of the decade.
The Brexit Opportunities minister backed Ms Truss, saying she is a “strong Brexiteer” and a “proper Eurosceptic” who had always supported him in Cabinet.
Enlisting the support of the Culture Secretary and staunch Boris Johnson loyalist cemented Ms Truss’s place as the “Boris continuity” candidate.
The former Northern Ireland secretary accused Mr Sunak of blocking attempts to break the Brexit impasse with the EU and said Ms Truss was “much more likely” to achieve a swift return to power sharing in Belfast.
The Business Secretary was yet another Cabinet heavy-weight to back Ms Truss and was charged with the duty of introducing her at her official launch, where he called her a “true blue, tax-cutting Conservative”.
The former Tory Party leader remains an influential figure as he heads up the 'One Nation' caucus of MPs which represents the more moderate wing of the party.
Just hours after the Attorney General was knocked out of the leadership race, she pledged her support for Ms Truss and encouraged at least some of her followers to go with her, notably Steve Baker MP.
Securing the backing of the chief secretary of the Treasury - who had worked under Mr Sunak - was a helpful endorsement to Ms Truss’s economic vision