The race for Number 10 is on, with ten MPs now confirmed as running for the Tory leadership.
Their number dropped from 11 this evening as Sam Gyimah announced he would pull out of the race, after failing to win enough support.
They will go through to a series of votes by MPs designed to whittle them down to just two frontrunners. Those two will then go head to head among Tory party members to choose the next leader.
Theresa May resigned as Prime Minister on Friday, however will continue in the role until a replacement is confirmed.
It means our next prime minister will be chosen from these politicians:
- Environment Secretary Michael Gove
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock
- Former Chief Whip Mark Harper
- Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
- Home Secretary Sajid Javid
- Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
- Former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom
- Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey
- Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab
- International Development Secretary Rory Stewart
The shortlist was announced this evening by Dame Cheryl Gillan, the the joint acting chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee.
To go through to the first round of voting, MPs had to win the support of at least eight of their colleagues. For the first round of votes on 13 Junethey will need at least 17 votes – and the person with the lowest number will be eliminated.
The announcement came after a day of back-to-back leadership launches with Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock and Esther McVey setting out their stalls.
Environment Secretary Mr Gove insisted he was still in the race to ‘win it’ despite calls for him to withdraw over his cocaine admission. He said he had explained his regret at his past mistakes after the revelation over the weekend that he took the drug in the 1990s cast a shadow over his campaign launch.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s campaign was bolstered by the backing of two Cabinet ministers – influential Remain supporter Amber Rudd and prominent Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt.
Mr Hunt positioned himself as a ‘serious leader’ and warned that the Tories would be ‘annihilated’ if they fight a general election before delivering Brexit. Other contenders – including Andrea Leadsom, Sajid Javid, Rory Stewart, Mark Harper and Boris Johnson – are expected to launch their campaigns later this week. Who should be the next Tory Leader? Share your thoughts in the comments below.