Sajid Javid,49, backed Remain in the referendum, but has since positioned himself as a firm Leaver.
The son of a Pakistani bus driver from Rochdale, he was a managing director at Deutsche Bank before becoming an MP in 2010.
He became the first home secretary from an ethnic minority background when he was appointed in April 2018.
Mr Javid signalled his leadership ambitions by arguing that he wanted the Tories to be the party of social mobility.
During the campaign, he has highlighted his education at state school and Exeter University, in contrast with his rivals’ time at public school or Oxbridge.
On Brexit, he hopes to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement to remove the Irish backstop, and has set out a plan to tackle the Irish border issue by spending hundreds of millions of pounds on a technological solution.
Mr Javid said the UK has a moral duty to pay for measures at the border in an effort to secure a breakthrough, but does not want a delay beyond October 31.
He has put forward a number of policy proposals, including cutting the top rate of income tax and establishing a £100 billion fund to invest in the UK’s infrastructure.
The Bromsgrove MP has denied ever taking drugs – unlike Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Rory Stewart – who have all admitted taking either cannabis, cocaine or opium.
His Cabinet backers are Caroline Nokes, Jeremy Wright and Chris Skidmore – and he also has the support of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.