Indian and ethnic candidates in the run for British Prime Minister

BBC News, London, July 8, 2022

Good Bye, Boris (Getty Images)

The race to replace Boris Johnson has begun after the Prime Minister quit as Tory leader following a dramatic few days that saw his authority collapse.

Tom Tugendhat is the latest MP to throw his hat into the ring, joining Attorney General Suella Braverman and Brexiteer Steve Baker who have shown interest.

Mr Johnson plans to stay on as PM until a new successor is found by the autumn.

However, many colleagues and opposition politicians want him to leave now – but he has already filled cabinet jobs.

Mr Johnson resigned on Thursday, following two days of desperate attempts to cling onto power amid a flood of resignations.

Nearly 60 Conservative MPs have quit government roles in recent days at both senior and junior levels, raising doubts about the government’s ability to function.

Speaking to his newly appointed cabinet on Thursday, Mr Johnson promised he would not use his remaining time in No 10 to make “major changes of direction.”

Rishi Sunak
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer
Once seen as a favourite to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative leader
Reputation dented by a controversy over his wife’s tax affairs and being fined for breaching lockdown rules
Became an MP in 2015 – for the North Yorkshire constituency of Richmond
Was chancellor of the exchequer less than five years later in 2020
Grappled with the coronavirus pandemic, spending huge amounts to keep the economy afloat
One of the first to quit the cabinet with minister and friend Sajid Javid, paving the way for the stream of resignations

Liz Truss
Foreign Secretary
Only the second woman to lead the Foreign Office, taking credit for securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from Iran
Has held a series of cabinet positions, including negotiating post-Brexit trade agreements as international trade secretary
First elected in 2010 as MP for Southwest Norfolk and popular among Conservative Party members
Mocked for giving a speech at the 2014 Conservative conference on UK cheese imports
Early declaring her support for Boris Johnson after his chancellor and health secretary resigned

 

Sajid Javid
Former Health Secretary
Born in Rochdale to a first generation Pakistani immigrant family
Became MP for Bromsgrove in 2010 after a career in the City
Made a bid for the leadership in 2019, making it to the final four before dropping out to support Boris Johnson
His endorsement was rewarded with the role of chancellor, but he quit after six months in a row over his advisers
Made a return to the front benches as health secretary in 2021 before resigning again, saying he had lost faith in Mr Johnson’s leadership

Nadhim Zahawi
New Chancellor of the Exchequer
Born in Iraq, Mr Zahawi and his family were forced to flee when Saddam Hussein came to power
After setting up a firm selling Teletubbies merchandise and founding polling company YouGov, he became MP for Stratford-on-Avon in 2010
Cemented his reputation as vaccines minister in the pandemic, leading to a promotion to the cabinet as education secretary
Another promotion to chancellor did not stop him from joining a group of ministers 24 hours later telling Mr Johnson to go

Jeremy Hunt
Member of Parliament
The son of an admiral, he made his fortune by setting up Hotcourses – a website connecting prospective students with educational institutions
Entered the Commons in 2005 as MP for Southwest Surrey
Joined the government as culture secretary in 2010 and has also served as health and foreign secretary
Came second to Boris Johnson in the 2019 leadership contest and has remained an influential backbencher
Scrutinised government policy throughout the pandemic as chair of the Commons Health Committee

Suella Braverman
Attorney General
Became a minister at the Department for Leaving the EU under Theresa May but resigned over Mrs May’s EU withdrawal deal
The former barrister replaced Geoffrey Cox as attorney general in 2020 and remains in that role
Has served as MP for Fareham in Hampshire since 2015
Confirmed she would join a Tory leadership race, saying “it would be the greatest honour”
Called for Boris Johnson to quit following a series of ministerial resignations

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State
Made history becoming the UK’s first female defence secretary in 2019
A naval reservist, she had already served as armed forces minister under David Cameron
She is a former magician’s assistant and head of the Conservative Party’s youth wing
Best known outside Westminster for appearing on ITV’s celebrity diving show Splash!
Formerly a press officer for William Hague when he was party leader and Kensington and Chelsea Council
Became MP for Portsmouth North in 2010

Ben Wallace
Defence Secretary
Led Boris Johnson’s abandoned 2016 leadership bid, before being rewarded with a cabinet post in 2019
Served in the Army in Germany, Cyprus, Belize and Northern Ireland where he helped thwart an IRA bomb attack
The former soldier became an MP in 2005 – for Wyre and Preston North, formerly Lancaster and Wyre
Led calls for improved transparency and reform of parliament expenses systems
Won international recognition for leadership on Ukraine

 

Tom Tugendhat
Member of Parliament
A former Territorial Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has been talked up for years as a potential future Conservative leader. First to launch a leadership bid, saying: ‘It’s time for renewal’
Chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee since January 2020
Became an MP in 2015 – for the constituency of Tonbridge in Kent
A moderate who projects pragmatism rather than populism
Told MPs of the grief and rage felt by veterans at the “abandonment” of Afghanistan in withdrawal by western forces last year

Steve Baker
Member of Parliament
Elected as the Conservative MP for Wycombe in 2010 after 10 years as an engineering officer in the Royal Air Force
Following the 2015 general election, he co-founded Conservatives for Britain, a group of 50 Tory MPs putting pressure on David Cameron to renegotiate UK membership of the EU
A member of the Eurosceptic European Research Group, he later became one of the so-called “Spartan” holdouts fighting against Theresa May’s Brexit deal
Made it known that colleagues have “implored” him to stand for the leadership

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
Elected to the seat of Witham in Essex in 2010 after several years in PR for the Conservative Party and lobbying for tobacco and alcohol industries
Served as Theresa May’s international development secretary, but forced to quit over unauthorised meetings with Israeli politicians
A prominent Brexiteer, she once argued Boris Johnson was the only person who could save Brexit and the Tories
Rewarded with the position of home secretary in Mr Johnson’s first cabinet
Recently sided with a delegation of Cabinet ministers urging Mr Johnson to step down

Grant Shapps
Transport Secretary
Served as a minister under David Cameron and Boris Johnson
Appointed co-chairman of the Conservative Party in 2012, serving in the post until 2015
Quit as international development minister in 2015 amid claims he failed to act on allegations of bullying
Appointed transport secretary when Boris Johnson became prime minister in 2019
Studied business and finance at Manchester Polytechnic and underwent cancer treatment before becoming MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005
Among Tory party members, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace so far appears to be the favourite to replace Mr Johnson.
A YouGov poll of 716 members placed Mr Wallace just ahead of Minister of State Penny Mordaunt, who was followed former Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
A timetable for the Tory leadership race is due to be confirmed next week and the new prime minister is expected to be in position by September.

People putting themselves forward will first have to secure the backing of Tory MPs before the final two go to a ballot of Conservative members.

Under the current rules, candidates need the support of eight Conservative MPs to stand. If there are more than two, Tory MPs hold a series of votes until just two remain.

At that point there is a ballot of the wider Conservative party membership to select the winner.

Source BBC News, London

 

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