Tory leadership race: nine potential candidates for prime minister
Theresa May will fire the starting gun on a Tory leadership race when she announces her departure as Prime Minister.
Several potential candidates have already set out their stalls in previous weeks as Mrs May’s tenure hung by a thread.
Here are nine of the MPs who have suggested, or stated, they will stand for the job.
– Matt Hancock
The Health Secretary, 40, has refused to rule himself out and said he has a “strong view about the sort of leader we need”.
A leader should put the Tories “four-square in the centre ground”, Mr Hancock believes.
– Esther McVey
The former Work and Pensions Secretary said she believes the next leader should be someone who “believes in Brexit” as she hinted at a leadership bid.
Ms McVey, 51, who quit the Cabinet over Brexit in November, has said it is “essential” Britain leaves the EU by the end of October.
– Sajid Javid
The Home Secretary has said “there won’t be a shortage of candidates” and teased “you’ll just have to wait and see” whether he chooses to run.
But the 49-year-old is expected to be a popular candidate, with policies including his hard stance on the return of Shamima Begum, the former Bethnal Green schoolgirl who joined Islamic State, boosting his position among some colleagues.
– Boris Johnson
Former Foreign Secretary and London mayor Mr Johnson, 54, is considered by most as the favourite to win the leadership race.
He has already confirmed he will stand, telling a business event “of course I’m going to go for it”.
– Amber Rudd
The Work and Pensions Secretary, 55, has refused to rule out running and said she is “keeping the door slightly ajar” to the possibility.
Ms Rudd is one of the most senior Remain-supporting Tories, and has regained standing in the Government since resigning in April 2018 over the Windrush scandal.
– Rory Stewart
The International Development Secretary, 46, began his leadership bid in an interview with The Spectator last month.
“If you want someone who really enjoys doing stuff and loves government and is really proud of the country and feel that’s their thing, I’m really enthusiastic,” he said.
– Andrea Leadsom
Ms Leadsom, 56, has previously revealed that she was “seriously considering” running for the Conservative leadership.
The Leader of the Commons described the UK’s continued membership of the EU as “disgusting” and claimed that a Eurosceptic prime minister would have delivered Brexit already.
– Jeremy Hunt
The Foreign Secretary, 52, identifies as a one-nation conservative, campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum and would be a moderate candidate on Brexit in the leadership election.
– Liz Truss
Ms Truss, 43, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is among a few Tory MPs to have used social media to hint at a possible leadership bid.
She has said the Conservative party needs to “reinvent” itself.