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The Conservative leadership race - who will be the next PM? 

Quick Summary

  • There are currently 11 MPs who have announced their bid to succeed Boris Johnson – Liz Truss is the latest to throw her hat into the ring. 
  • We’re still waiting on an announcement from Priti Patel – many expect her to announce her bid today.
  • Rishi Sunak remains the favourite to win. 
  • Contenders may need up to 36 supporters to move to round 2. 
  • The leadership contest is expected to be slimmed down to two by next Thursday. 
  • Boris Johnson has said he won’t publicly back a candidate as he doesn’t want to damage their chances.

In-depth analysis

Who’s in the race for PM? 

Since the news Boris Johnson will step down as prime minister and leader of the Conservative party, plenty of Tory MPs have thrown their name into the ring. Some very obvious contenders have already announced their bids, some we’re still waiting on and some fairly unknown MPs have also announced their plans – we look at who’s in the race for PM?

  • Rishi Sunak 
  • Tom Tugendhat
  • Grant Shapps
  • Penny Mordaunt
  • Nadhim Zahawi
  • Jeremy Hunt
  • Sajid Javid
  • Kemi Badenoch
  • Suella Braverman
  • Liz Truss
  • Rehman Chishti


We’re still waiting on an official announcement that Priti Patel will launch a bid to become the next leader of the Conservative party, and therefore the next prime minister.

Contenders may need up to 36 supporters to progress 

Tory MP Bob Blackman – joint-executive secretary of the 1922 Committee, has said candidates will likely need at least 20 supporters to enter the first round of the Conservative leadership race, with potentially as many as 36 MPs needed in support to progress to round two.

He told Sky News: “The view is that candidates to get on the ballot paper should demonstrate a broad swathe of support amongst Conservative MPs.

“So we’re looking at a proposer, a seconder and either 18 supporters or possibly more supporters in order to reduce that list.

He then says the “first ballot is likely to have a threshold of 10% of the votes, i.e. 36 MPs, supporting a candidate for them to go through to the second ballot. That once again is not confirmed yet, but I suspect that will be the case.

“After that we probably won’t need thresholds because the list will shorten considerably.”

Leadership candidates thinned by next Thursday 

He told Sky News that the candidates will be thinned down to the final two by next Thursday. 

“The one thing that we’re committed to do is to achieve getting to two candidates by Thursday 21 July.

“That means that we’ll hold a succession of ballots over the next few days in order to get to that position.”

Ballots are expected to be held this Wednesday and Thursday and next Tuesday and Wednesday. 

He also said the newly-elected 1922 Committee is set to meet on Monday evening to agree the process and timetable for the parliamentary side of the leadership contest. 

How will the Tories actually choose a new leader?

So far 11 MPs have confirmed their bids to succeed Boris Johnson. Here’s how the Tories will choose their next leader, who then will become the next prime minister for at least the next two years (when a general election is due). 

  • The timetable for the Tory leadership race is due to be confirmed later today
  • Under current rules, those putting themselves forward must initially have the backing of eight Tory MPs
  • Tory MPs keep holding a series of votes until just two candidates remain
  • The next stage is a wider postal ballot of the wider Conservative Party membership around 100,000 people
  • The winner of the two becomes the new Tory leader and prime minister

PM will not back candidates to avoid ‘damaging’ their chances 

The prime minister says he “wouldn’t want to damage anybody’s chances by offering my support” in the Conservative leadership race

The PM spoke in public for the first time since announcing his resignation. 

Boris Johnson said: “I’m determined to get on and deliver the mandate that was given to us, but my job is really just to oversee the process in the next few weeks, and I’m sure that the outcome will be good.

“We just need to get on… the more we focus on the people, on the people who elect us, on their jobs, their hopes and what they can get out of investment in science and technology.

“The more we talk about the future that we’re trying to build, the less we talk about politics in Westminster, the generally happier we will all be.”

Asked if will be staying out the race, he said: “That’s not the job of the prime minister at this stage.

“The job of the prime minister at this stage is to let the party decide, let them get on with and to continue delivering on the projects that we were elected to deliver.  

“And what I will say is that whoever is picked, I’ve no doubt will want to continue to support brilliant places like the Crick Institute.”

Asked about how his government collapsed last week, with ministers resigning en masse, he said: “I don’t want to say any more about all that. 

“There’s a contest under way and it’s happened, and, you know, I wouldn’t want to damage anybody’s chances by offering my support.

“I just have to get on and, in the last few days or weeks of the job, the constitutional function of the prime minister in this situation is to discharge the mandate, to continue to discharge the mandate, and that’s what I’m doing.

 “I think the reason we’re here today is because… science, technology – our natural genius in this area is one of the many, many things that is going to carry us forward and make sure that our our future is very bright.”

Young Rishi Sunak in an embarrassing clip boasted about his private education and Etonian friends that was unearthed after he announced his candidacy in the leadership race
Liz Truss launches Tory leadership bid to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister – the 10th to do so – with a promise to cut taxes.
Tory leadership, BORIS JOHNSON could be forced out of Downing Street by the end of the week, as Tory grandees panic Labour is ready to go nuclear in its bid to prematurely end his premiership.

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