Theresa May publishes tax returns after taking the lead in Tory leadership race


Theresa May has insisted she is the only contender to succeed David Cameron as prime minister who can unite the country and secure the best Brexit deal after emerging as the frontrunner in the race.

The Home Secretary is in pole position for the Conservative leadership after getting the votes of half the party's MPs (165) in the first round of the contest, and securing the backing of two rivals.

May's dominant first-round performance and energy minister Andrea Leadsom's strong showing in second place with 66 votes paves the way for an all-woman run-off.

Theresa May

In a move that will put pressure on her rival the Home Secretary published her tax return, meaning that Leadsom is the only remaining candidate yet to do so.

May's statement from the private bank Coutts showed she paid £40,023 in income tax in 2014/15. She earned £112,426 from her MP's and Home Secretary's salaries and a further £6,036 in interest and dividends.

Her total taxable income was £117,350 after taking her reduced personal allowance into account. The Home Secretary declared £5,033 in net capital gains and £685 in charitable donations.

Between 2011 and 2014 she paid £126,679 in income tax on £375,343 of earnings.

Andrea Leadsom

Justice Secretary Michael Gove published his returns after launching his leadership bid. It showed he paid nearly £70,000 tax in the two years up to April 2015. His income in 2013/14 when he was education secretary was £117,786 and his high salary meant his personal allowance was reduced to £547, according to the documents.

Leadsom's campaign manager, Tim Loughton MP, told the BBC she would publish her tax return "as soon as she gets time away from speaking to colleagues and fighting this campaign".

After quitting the race, Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said May was the only candidate who could "unite our party and "form a cohesive and strong government", while eliminated former defence secretary Liam Fox stressed: "Experience matters."

Theresa May

After her victory, May said: "There is a big job before us: to unite our party and the country, to negotiate the best possible deal as we leave the EU, and to make Britain work for everyone.

"I am the only candidate capable of delivering these three things as prime minister, and tonight it is clear that I am also the only one capable of drawing support from the whole of the Conservative Party."

The two candidates who top the final round of MPs' votes will go forward to a postal ballot of party members to select a new Conservative leader - and prime minister - in a contest due to end on September 9.