And then there were EIGHT! Javid drops out of Tory race

And then there were EIGHT! Sajid Javid follows Priti Patel dropping out after failing to get 20 nominations – with Truss and Mordaunt gunning for frontrunner Rishi Sunak after he claims to be the ‘grown up’ option with support from Raab and Shapps

  • Rishi Sunak cementing his status as frontrunner as he officially launched his Tory leadership campaign 
  • The former Chancellor vowed to be ‘grown up’ option as he unveiled backing from deputy PM Dominic Raab
  • Candidates had until 6pm tonight to get 20 nominations from MPs to stand in the first round ballot tomorrow
  • Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat, Nadhim Zahawi, Jeremy Hunt also hit the nominations threshold
  • Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch survive the initial hurdle but Sajid Javid was knocked out of the race 
  • Rishi Sunak underlined his status as Tory leadership frontrunner today as more Cabinet big beasts backed him to replace Boris Johnson – with Sajid Javid failing to get enough nominations to stay in the contest.

    The former health secretary – who triggered the coup against Boris Johnson by resigning last week – became the latest casualty after falling short of the 20 endorsements from Conservative MPs needed to feature in the first round of the contest. 

    As tonight’s 6pm deadline approached, surprise candidate Rehman Chishti also conceded defeat after securing no supporters.

    Sir Graham Brady, the 1922 Committee chairman, announced eight MPs have gone through to the first round proper. However, more look set to be ejected tomorrow as they will need at least 30 supports in the initial round of voting to progress further. 

    Who has made it through to the first Tory ballot? 

    Kemi Badenoch

    Proposed: Lee Rowley

    Seconded: Julia Lopez

    Suella Braverman

    Proposed: David Jones

    Seconded: Miriam Cates

    Jeremy Hunt

    Proposed: Esther McVey

    Seconded: Anthony Mangnall

    Penny Mordaunt

    Proposed: Andrea Leadsom

    Seconded: Craig Tracey

    Rishi Sunak

    Proposed: Dominic Raab

    Seconded: Mel Stride

    Liz Truss

    Proposed: Simon Clarke

    Seconded: Therese Coffey

    Tom Tugendhat

    Proposed: Anne-Marie Trevelyan

    Seconded: James Daly

    Nadhim Zahawi

    Proposed: Brandon Lewis

    Seconded: Amanda Milling

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    There were also suggestions of skullduggery from  supporters of Mr Johnson. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries accused Team Sunak of engaging in the ‘dark arts’ in order to manipulate the vote.

    ‘[They] want the candidate they know they can definitely beat in the final two and that is Jeremy Hunt,’ she tweeted.

    Mr Hunt, in turn warned that Mr Sunak would lead the country deeper economic problems if he wins.

    The Tory leadership candidate told LBC radio: ‘Rishi Sunak is… increasing corporation tax and it will be higher than not just America or Japan, but France and Germany as well.

    ‘And I’m worried that on our current trajectory, we’re heading into recession, and we’ll be there for too long…

    ‘I was very worried when he announced his budget… The thing that struck me was this slashing of the growth forecast for next year’.

    Earlier, Home Secretary Priti Patel withdrew and refused to say who she will be backing, despite pleas from rivals on the Thatcherite right to unite behind one candidate. But there are signs that MPs who had been in her group are shifting to Liz Truss. 

    Mr Sunak was well over the threshold as he formally launched his campaign this morning, introduced by deputy PM Dominic Raab and Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary.

    Penny Mordaunt, Tom Tugendhat, Ms Truss, Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi, and Suella Braverman, and Kemi Badenoch also made the nominations. 

    The surviving candidates will head straight into a hustings event after the announcement, facing Tory MPs behind closed doors in Parliament. 

    At his launch this morning, former Chancellor Mr Sunak again batted away calls for tax cuts before inflation is under control, saying ‘we need to have a grown up conversation’. At the event in Westminster, he also heaped praise on Boris Johnson, describing him as ‘one of the most remarkable people I have ever met’ who has a ‘good heart’ – but it was ‘not working’ any more.

    Mr Sunak – who only took a few questions from the media while journalists asking combative points were heckled by the crowd – said his plan was to ‘tackle inflation, grow the economy and cut taxes’. ‘I want to have a grown up conversation where I can tell you the truth,’ he said.

    Mr Raab said before the speech: ‘We need a leader who can win… he is the only one who can win.’ 

    In news that will cause alarm in Mr Sunak’s camp, a ConservativeHome poll has found that he would lose to his main rivals in the run-off ballot of Tory members.    

    Ms Patel said in a statement: ‘I am grateful for the encouragement and support colleagues and Party members have offered me in recent days in suggesting that I enter the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party. I will not be putting my name forward for the ballot of MPs.

    ‘As Home Secretary I have always put the security and safety of our country and the national interest first and my focus is to continue working to get more police on our streets, support our amazing security services to keep our country safe and control our borders.

    ‘As a lifelong and committed Conservative, I will always make the case for freedom, enterprise and opportunity and work with colleagues to deliver these values in Government. Like all Conservative MPs and Party members, I will be listening to cases being put forward by the candidates standing for the leadership of the Party and trust the contest will be conducted in a good spirit that brings our Party together.’

    Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 committee, has announced that nominations will close at 6pm tonight, with the first vote to be held at 1.30pm tomorrow. 

    Even those who make the first ballot will need 30 MPs out of the 358 total to back to survive into the second round  on Thursday. 

    At least the lowest-placed contender will be eliminated in each ballot until two remain. They will then be put to party members in a postal ballot, with hustings held across the UK during August. 

    The new leader will be announced on September 5, becoming PM the following day. 

    In other twists and turns in the fight for the soul of the Conservative Party today:

    • Former Cabinet minister David Davis has endorsed Ms Mordaunt after she topped a poll of activists on the ConservativeHome website. Although the survey is not scientific it is closely-watched by MPs and ministers; 
    • Ex-health secretary Matt Hancock has backed Mr Sunak saying he is ‘best-placed’ to ‘take the country through difficult times’;  
    • Mr Zahawi has insisted he has secured the 20 nominations needed to make the ballot, with allies saying he is also over the 30 mark;
    • Mr Javid’s allies say they are still confident of reaching the threshold and denied that he is about to withdraw and back Mr Sunak; 
    • Channel 4 will hold a Tory leadership debate with the remaining candidates on Friday at 7pm, before ITV’s version on Sunday at 7pm and a Sky News programme on Monday at 7pm; 
    • Tory grandees have cautioned that a bidding war between candidates pledging tax cuts could put the party’s reputation for economic management at risk;
    • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has called for defence spending to be increased from 2 per cent to 3 per cent of GDP, echoing Jeremy Hunt’s position;   
    • Keir Starmer is pushing for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson‘s government to happen in Parliament tomorrow. 

    Rishi Sunak again batted away calls for tax cuts before inflation is under control, saying ‘we need to have a grown up conversation’. At the launch event in Westminster, he also heaped praise on Boris Johnson, describing him as ‘one of the most remarkable people I have ever met’ who has a ‘good heart’

    A ConservativeHome survey suggested that Mr Sunak would lose to his main rivals in a head-to-head run-off

    Liz Truss

    Nadhim Zahawi in Westminster today

    Contenders for the leadership of the Conservative Party have been out and about today, including Nadhim Zahawi (right) and Liz Truss (left)

    Would-be PMs have just hours left to rack up the 20 nominations needed to feature in the first round of the contest, with voting due to start tomorrow

    Rehman Chishti confirmed tonight that he has not made the nominations to enter the race

    Rehman Chishti confirmed tonight that he has not made the nominations to enter the race

    HOW THE TORY LEADERSHIP RACE WILL BE FOUGHT: MPS HAVE UNTIL TONIGHT TO GET 20 VOTES – OR BE KNOCKED OUT 

    The contest to be crowned the new Tory leader – and become Boris Johnson’s replacement as Prime Minister – will formally begin today.

    Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservatives’ 1922 Committee, has revealed that the winner will be known on 5th September.

    But how will the party choose, between now and then, from the long list of contenders?

    Here’s how the election process will work…

    Today – Nominations open and close for the Tory leadership race. Candidates will have to submit a nomination by 6pm, including a proposer and a seconder and the names of 18 other Conservative MPs who are supporting them.

    Tomorrow – The first ballot of Tory MPs will take place between 1.30pm to 3.30pm, with a result to be announced later in the day. Any candidates who receive less than 30 votes in this first ballot will be automatically eliminated. If all candidates meet the 30-vote threshold, then the candidate with the lowest number of votes will be knocked out the contest.

    Thursday – A second ballot of Tory MPs will be held which will see the candidate with the lowest number of votes eliminated.

    Next week – Further rounds of ballots among Tory MPs will continue, as necessary, until the list of contenders is whittled down to a final two. The lowest-scoring candidate will drop out each time.

    21st July – MPs will head away from Westminster for their summer break, meaning this is the deadline for a final pairing to be decided in the parliamentary stage of the leadership election.

    Late July and August – CCHQ will assume responsibility for leadership election and will send out ballot papers to around 200,000 Conservative Party members. The Tory grassroots will be asked to decide between the final two candidates, with hustings events to be held across the UK.

    5th September –  The result of the membership ballot is announced, with the candidate receiving more than 50 per cent of the vote being declared the new Tory leader and Boris Johnson’s replacement as Prime Minister.

    6th September – The new Tory leader is likely to be formally appointed as PM during a visit to the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

    7th September – The new PM is set to be quizzed in the House of Commons in their first ever Prime Minister’s Questions.

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    At his launch, Mr Sunak delivered a sharp barb at his rivals, suggesting their tax plans are ‘not credible’ as he said he would only reduce them after inflation is under control.

    The former chancellor said: ‘It is not credible to promise lots more spending and lower taxes.

    ‘I had to make some of the most difficult choices of my life as chancellor, in particular how to deal with our debt and borrowing after Covid. I have never hidden away from those, I certainly won’t pretend now the choices I made and the things I voted for were somehow not necessary.

    ‘While that may be politically inconvenient for me, it is also the truth. As is the fact that once we’ve gripped inflation, I will get the tax burden down. It is a question of when, not if.

    Mr Sunak said that Mr Johnson is ‘flawed’ like all politicians and they often disagreed.

    But he added: ‘I will have no part in a rewriting of history that seeks to demonise Boris, exaggerate his faults or deny his efforts.

    ‘I am running a positive campaign focused on what my leadership can offer our party and our country.

    ‘I will not engage in the negativity you have seen and read in the media. If others wish to do that, then let them.

    ‘That is not who we are. We can be better than that.’

    He also flatly dismissed the idea he was in cahoots with maverick ex-No10 chief Dominic Cummings – as some rival camps have alleged.  

    ‘Dominic Cummings has had absolutely nothing to do with this campaign and will have absolutely nothing to do with any government that I’m privileged to lead,’ he said.

    ‘For the record, I’ve not communicated with Dominic Cummings since the day he left Downing Street.’

    But despite Mr Sunak’s slick campaign event, the ConservativeHome survey suggests he still has work to do to win over members.

    Although it is not scientific, the grassroots polls are closely watched.

    And they show Mr Sunak would lose to Ms Mordaunt by 58 per cent to 31 per cent, and Ms Truss by 51 per cent to 34 per cent.

    The only main contenders Mr Sunak had an advantage over were Mr Javid and Mr Tugendhat.

    The findings contrasted with an Opinium poll of Tory members for Channel 4 News, which found Mr Sunak would beat both Ms Truss and Ms Mordaunt in a run-off.

    Ms Truss has warned the Tory Right it risks handing Mr Sunak the keys to No10 unless it unites behind her. 

    The Foreign Secretary‘s allies urged her rivals on the Thatcherite wing of the party to end their campaigns and back her. 

    Ms Dorries and Mr Rees-Mogg said they are backing Ms Truss in the leadership contest as she is a ‘stronger Brexiteer’ than either of them.

    Speaking to reporters in Downing Street after a Cabinet meeting, Ms Dorries said: ‘I have sat with Liz in Cabinet now for some time.

    ‘[I’m] very aware that she’s probably a stronger Brexiteer than the both of us.

    ‘She has consistently argued for low tax policies and I’m particularly concerned about the 14 million people who voted for a manifesto and voted for a Government that the candidate that we select, for me it’s Liz who I’m going to back, will continue with those manifesto policies and will continue to deliver for the Government and the Conservative Party moving forward.’

    At a speech today, Mr Tugendhat promised to slash fuel duty by 10p if elected as prime minister.

    The Tory leadership candidate said: ‘I am here to make the case that our economy can only prosper if we believe that people—and not Westminster—know best how to spend their money.

    ‘I know the pain families are feeling now. That is why my first pledge is to take fuel duty down by 10p a litre.

    ‘My second is to reverse the national insurance rise.

    ‘This isn’t about percentages. It’s about jobs.

    ‘That’s why I didn’t vote for the increase then, and I wouldn’t now.’

    Mr Tugendhat has dismissed criticism of his lack of ministerial experience after Dominic Raab said it was ‘no time to learn on the job’.

    He said: ‘The reality is that the job of prime minister is unlike every other job in government. It’s not a management job, it’s not a departmental job. It’s a job that demands vision and leadership, it demands a willingness to serve and to throw everything in the duty of serving the British people.

    ‘This is no time to learn. What this is, is a time to look at a record of service and a record of delivery in some of the most difficult and trying conditions around the world, and to see that this isn’t learning on the job, this is putting all that experience to work on the job.’

    There have been claims that Priti Patel is on the verge of joining a crowded field of contenders from the Tory Right. 

    But Mr Rees-Mogg has warned of the danger of ‘further fracturing the Right’, and instead backed Ms Truss. Leading backbencher Steve Baker has warned colleagues on the Brexiteer wing over the ‘grave danger of fragmentation’. 

    A poll of the Tory grassroots last night put Penny Mordaunt, who has faced controversy for her views on trans rights, as their new favourite. The shock result raises the prospect of her facing Mr Sunak in the final run-off vote by party members.

    Mr Zahawi said he believes he has the numbers to get on the ballot. He told BBC Breakfast: ‘We have. And we will be putting our nomination in later today.

    ‘I’m confident I have the backing of my colleagues.’

    In a swipe at Mr Sunak, Mr Zahawi said ‘cutting taxes isn’t a fairytale’.

    Mr Zahawi also shrugged off criticism from Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey that as Chancellor he should not be making commitments on tax.

    He told BBC Breakfast: ‘I’m setting out my stall as prime minister and I have fully costed these pledges, and I’ll be saying more about the way we’ll pay for that in the coming days.’

    He said in a leadership campaign video that he would reform education to give pupils ‘the tools they need to succeed in life’.

    ‘Faced by Russia and China it is clear we must increase our spending on defence,’ he added.

    ‘And of course we need to reduce the burden of tax.

    ‘I believe cutting taxes isn’t a fairytale but rather a critical step to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.’

    Ms Truss fears no one on the Conservative Right will make the last two if support is split too thinly among them all. 

    An ally said: ‘The Right of the party needs to make its mind up fast. If the Right don’t want Rishi Sunak to be prime minister then they need to unite behind a single candidate and that candidate is Liz. 

    ‘Liz is the only one who can keep the PM’s 2019 coalition together, who will take us back to properly Conservative principles on the economy and who has the experience to hit the ground running.

    ‘But there is a real concern that if the Right splinters then Rishi and his supporters will be able to manipulate the contest and ensure that he faces someone to the Left of him in the final two.’ 

    Nusrat Ghani, the 1922 Committee vice-chair, said securing the support of 20 MPs to make it onto the leadership ballot ‘isn’t going to be an easy task’. 

    She said at one point she thought there might be some 16 contenders.

    Asked how many candidates might get over the first hurdle of having 20 backers, she told the Today programme: ‘I’m wishing good luck to every candidate. There was a point where I think a number of us were getting incoming calls and I thought for a moment ‘gosh, we might even have 16’.

    ‘But who knows, who knows? Securing the support of 20 backers isn’t going to be an easy task. At the moment, I believe there are 11, there could be 12. Let’s see by 10pm tonight who’s been able to get the nomination.’

    She said the committee ‘will do everything we can’ to make sure the process is as ‘efficient and as swift’ as possible.

    There are signs that some previous supporters of Priti Patel are moving to Liz Truss after she withdrew

    There are signs that some previous supporters of Priti Patel are moving to Liz Truss after she withdrew 

    Mr Sunak already appears to be well over the threshold as he formally launched his campaign this morning, introduced by deputy PM Dominic Raab and Grant Shapps

    Mr Sunak already appears to be well over the threshold as he formally launched his campaign this morning, introduced by deputy PM Dominic Raab and Grant Shapps

    She added that the 1922 Committee executive will not be publicly declaring who they are supporting in the leadership race ‘to make sure we’re doing everything we can appropriately without fear or favour’.

    Contenders for the leadership of the Conservative Party were seen out at a 1922 Committee summer reception last night after Sir Graham Brady announced the timings .

    Ms Truss, Mr Sunak, ex- Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, Ms Patel and chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Mr Tugendhat, enjoyed wine and chat on the Terrace at the Houses of Parliament.

    Also present at the drinks reception were Former Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock, Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi and Vice Chair of the 1922 Committee Nus Ghani 

    During the 2019 Tory leadership race, there were suspicions that Mr Johnson’s campaign team asked some backers to lend votes to Jeremy Hunt to ensure he got into the final two because they believed he would be easier to beat. 

    Sir Gavin Williamson, who was a leading figure on Mr Johnson’s team, is now working on Mr Sunak’s campaign. A Tory source said: ‘Gav will try and get another no-hoper on the ballot with his man … he could even make sure it is Jeremy again.’ 

    Mrs Braverman’s team last night joined calls for the Tory Right to unite behind a ‘Stop Rishi’ candidate, but she declined to withdraw herself. The Attorney General stole a march on her rivals by announcing her candidacy live on TV last Wednesday. An ally said: ‘The Right of the party need to come together on a single person who both backed Brexit and who party members actually really like. It would be a catastrophe if they can’t.’ 

    Mr Baker, who is Mrs Braverman’s campaign manager, said it was ‘a nonsense to have candidates standing all over the place’. 

    He told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: ‘There’s a danger of fragmentation. Kemi Badenoch has decided to stand, I’m afraid as much as I am fond of Kemi, it’s a bit improbable.

    ‘She hasn’t been in the Cabinet; Suella has been in the Cabinet.’ 

     

    The runners and riders in the race to succeed Boris Johnson  

    Rishi Sunak

    • Super-rich father of two 
    • Married to Indian heiress
    • Chancellor throughout the Covid pandemic
    • Oversaw huge public spending
    • Has pledged to cut taxes only when inflation and the economy are under control 
    • Bookies odds: 6/4 Favourite (William Hill odds)

    In a slick campaign video launched on Friday, Mr Sunak announced his leadership bid with the message: ‘Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country.’

    One of the main front-runners the former chancellor’s rise from relative obscurity to household name came as he turned on the spending taps to protect jobs through the furlough scheme when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

    His calm and measured delivery during televised Covid briefings, and his viral declaration of love for a popular soft drink, will have endeared him to those perhaps not always plugged in to the political goings-on, as well as his resignation on matters of principle on Tuesday.

    A Brexit supporter from the off, he has attracted more than 30 declared supporters so far from within the Tory ranks, including from serving and ex-ministers Mark Spencer, Oliver Dowden and Robert Jenrick.

    However his stock has taken a tumble recently following disclosures that his wife had non-dom status for tax purposes, while she lived in Downing Street, and he held on to his US green card while serving in Government.

    He has become the man to beat in the leadership race, and has already been the focus of concerted mud-slinging. 

    There have been claims that allies of Mr Johnson are aiming to stop Mr Sunak winning the Tory leadership contest over his ‘treachery’ in resigning from Government on Tuesday night – a move that precipitated the PM’s downfall.

    According to the Telegraph, a 424-word criticism of Mr Sunak is being widely shared across Tory WhatsApp groups.

    As well as claiming ‘there is nothing Conservative about the ‘Big Tax and Big Spend’ agenda of Rishi Sunak’, Mr Sunak is also branded a ‘liar’ and accused of ‘schoolboy errors’.

    The ex-chancellor has also witnessed a TV clip of himself, from 20 years ago, talking about his circle of friends being ‘err… not working class’ go viral on social media.

    Rishi Sunak was forced to deny links to ‘toxic’ former No10 adviser Dominic Cummings last night.

    Mr Cummings has posted ‘poisonous’ claims online about Mr Sunak’s rivals for the Tory leadership, but the former Chancellor’s team insisted he had not spoken to the controversial adviser since he left No 10 in late 2020.

    A rival Tory leadership campaign source said Mr Sunak should ‘come clean’ about whether his team had any links to Mr Cummings – or if they had been in contact with him.

    Penny Mordaunt

    • Former defence secretary
    • Appeared on reality TV show Splash!
    • Current trade minister
    • Divorced Royal Naval Reservist 
    • Odds: 9/4 

    Ms Mordaunt’s campaign got off to an awkward start on Sunday with her launch video hastily edited to remove several identifiable figures including athlete Jonnie Peacock and jailed Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius.

    Announcing her bid, the international trade minister said the UK’s leadership ‘needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship’.

    Ms Mordaunt was Ben Wallace’s predecessor as defence secretary, and the first woman to hold the post before being sacked by Mr Johnson shortly after he became Prime Minister in 2019.

    The trade minister has many strings to her bow as a Royal Navy reservist and former reality TV contestant, having appeared on the Tom Daley-fronted diving show Splash.

    She played a prominent role in the Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum, and enjoys the backing of Dame Andrea Leadsom and Michael Fabricant.

    Mordaunt's bid was promoted on her Twitter page, where she has hit back against critics trying to depict her as 'woke' amid a row over her stance on transgender rights, insisting she has 'fought for women’s rights all my life' as she hit back at opponents

    Mordaunt’s bid was promoted on her Twitter page, where she has hit back against critics trying to depict her as ‘woke’ amid a row over her stance on transgender rights, insisting she has ‘fought for women’s rights all my life’ as she hit back at opponents

    Ms Mordaunt’s bid was promoted on her Twitter page, where she has hit back against critics trying to depict her as ‘woke’ amid a row over her stance on transgender rights, insisting she has ‘fought for women’s rights all my life’ as she hit back at opponents.

    Her position as one of the bookies’ favourites to become the next Tory leader has led to a furious row over her stance on trans issues, including her past claim that ‘trans women are women’.

    She has been accused of being ‘a committed warrior for the trans lobby’ and of risking ‘enormous harm to women’s rights and children’.

    But Ms Mordaunt, a Royal Navy reservist, used a series of Twitter posts in the early hours of this morning to push back at opponents.

    As well as highlighting her past work in Government, including when she was women and equalities minister under Theresa May, Ms Mordaunt also stressed there was a difference between ‘biological women’ and those who are ‘legally female’.

    Liz Truss

    • Foreign Secretary
    • Remainer turned Brexit hardliner
    • Negotiating with EU over NI
    • Loves posing for pictures on Instagram 
    • Odds: 7/2 

    The Foreign Secretary kept her powder dry as the Tory top brass turned on the mortally wounded Prime Minister, despite being a Johnson loyalist, though she did cut short a foreign trip to Indonesia to head back to Westminster as he announced his resignation.

    But she confirmed long-standing expectations that she would throw her hat into the already crowded ring on Sunday, pledging to reverse the national insurance hike.

    Ina video released today she vowed to return to ‘proper Conservative policy’ with tax cuts ‘from day one’ and business rates reforms. She suggested that the £2trillion debt mountain should be put on a ‘longer-term’ footing in order to give immediate wriggle-room.

    In her video, she played up her experience at the top levels of government and said the party needs to ‘deliver, deliver, deliver’ to win the next general election.

    Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has already come out in support of Liz Truss

    Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has already come out in support of Liz Truss

    Writing in The Telegraph on Sunday, Ms Truss, who has been cultivating support among Tory MPs and enjoys the backing of Julian Knight, Jackie-Doyle Price and Chloe Smith, said she could be ‘trusted to deliver’. 

    Social media aficionado Ms Truss has made little secret of her leadership ambitions, with a series of high-profile interventions and photo opportunities in which she appeared to be channelling late PM Margaret Thatcher.

    She has the experience of working across many Whitehall departments, while her hard line on Ukraine, insisting Russian forces must be driven from the country, and threats to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU play well with sections of the party.

    Sajid Javid

    • Rochdale-born son of a Pakistani bus driver
    • Twice resigned from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet
    • Quit as education secretary to spark Johnson’s downfall last week
    • Former top banker and father of four
    • Odds: 66/1 

    Mr Javid formally declared his bid in The Sunday Telegraph after his and Mr Sunak’s double-resignation effectively kickstarted the slew of departures from government, hastening Mr Johnson’s demise.

    State school-educated Mr Javid, known as ‘The Saj’ in some circles, is the son of a bus driver who arrived in England from Pakistan in the 1960s, and held ministerial roles in housing, business and culture before becoming chancellor, and then health secretary in the middle of the pandemic.

    Mr Javid, who supported Remain in 2016, made it to the final four in the contest to replace Theresa May as Tory leader in 2019, but dropped out and subsequently endorsed Mr Johnson.

    He has said he would not only scrap the former chancellor’s plans to raise corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent in April, but reduce the rate to 15 per cent.

    The Bromsgrove MP also pledged to scrap the Government’s controversial national insurance hike, bring forward the planned 1p income tax cut to next year, and introduce a further ‘significant’ temporary reduction on fuel duty.

    The former health secretary pledged to ‘unite the country’ as he moved to position himself among the favourites to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

    The video, first published as part of his failed leadership bid in 2019, gave a glimpse into life at home with his wife, four children and his dog Bailey.

    Mr Javid, who was brought up in Bristol, also spoke about the influence of his ‘workaholic’ parents who owned a clothing shop. 

    Speaking of the ‘value of hard work’, he said they encouraged him to work in international business before entering politics.

    In a swipe at Rishi Sunak, who released a high-quality campaign video last week, Mr Javid tweeted: ‘I don’t have a fancy new video. So here’s one I made earlier’.

    Nadhim Zahawi

    • Made Chancellor after Sunak quit last week
    • Urged Boris to quit within a day of appointment
    • Born in Iraq to Kurdish parents and came to Uk as a child
    • Made millions by founded the YouGov polling company 
    • Questions over his tax affairs 
    • Odds: 50/1 

    Mr Zahawi’s bid, also announced in The Sunday Times, is rooted in lower taxes and a ‘great education’ for all, promising to ‘steady the ship’ and ‘stabilise the economy’.

    He also appeared to suggest a hard-line stance on so-called culture war issues, claiming he would protect children from what he claimed was ‘damaging and inappropriate nonsense from radical activists’.

    The newly appointed Chancellor argued Britons must be trusted ‘to do what is best for themselves’, as he warned the country had lost a sense of ‘boundless optimism and opportunity’ that he traced back to Margaret Thatcher’s tenure.

    An outside bet among the bookies, the Iraqi-born former education secretary was a successful businessman and came to wider prominence as vaccines minister during the pandemic.

    But he is facing questions over his tax affairs that could serious hinder his campaign.

    There have been claims that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is probing Mr Zahawi after civil servants raised a red ‘flag’.

    But Mr Zahawi, who founded polling firm YouGov and is believed to be worth around £100million, dismissed the suggestion and said he will ‘not apologise for being a successful businessman’.

    Today he lashed out at ‘smears’ as he insisted he is ‘not aware’ of any investigation into his financial affairs.

    The new Chancellor also attempted to turn the tables by vowing to publish his tax return annually if his Tory leadership bid is successful.

    He also refused to give any estimate for his personal wealth saying he would ‘probably get it wrong’ and ‘these things move around’ with changes to investment values. 

    Tom Tugendhat

    • Former soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan
    • Married father of two 
    • Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee
    • Russia and China hawk 
    • Remain-voting long-term Boris critic 
    • Has never held a ministerial post
    • Odds: 12/1  

     Not a household name, but among the early contenders.

    The multi-lingual chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee became the first to announce his intention to stand for leader should Mr Johnson be turfed out, with his declaration made in January, a position he repeated in Friday’s Daily Telegraph, saying he was putting together a ‘broad coalition’ offering a ‘clean start’.

    His odds shortened almost immediately as a result.

    The former soldier wrote in the paper: ‘I have served before, in the military, and now in Parliament. Now I hope to answer the call once again as prime minister.’

    A Remainer in 2016, he has been a trenchant critic of Mr Johnson, a stance that would appear to have cost him any chance of ministerial preferment under the current leadership.

    Yesterday he provided a punchy response today when – asked about the ‘naughtiest thing’ he’d ever done – the Tory leadership candidate replied: ‘Well, I invaded a country once.’

    The former British Army officer looked to draw on his experience in the military – during which he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan – as he pushed forward his case to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

    Although considered an outsider in the race for Number 10, as he has not previously been a Government minister, the 49-year-old insisted he had a wealth of experience as a ‘leader’.

    Mr Tugendhat, the chairman of the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee, vowed to be tough on Russia and China.

    He also promised to reverse a hike in National Insurance and to take action on ‘crippling’ fuel duties.

    Suella Braverman

    • Attorney General and hardline Brexiteer 
    • British daughter of Indian parents from Goa
    • Has vowed to rewrite Brexit deal on Northern Ireland
    • Also pledged to tackle ‘woke’ social issues
    • Odds: 50/1 

    The Attorney General launched an unlikely leadership bid as support for Mr Johnson crumbled around him on Wednesday night.

    But a surprise endorsement from prominent Brexiteer Steve Baker, who had earlier said he was considering running, has lent weight to her standing.

    Ms Braverman, who was first elected as an MP in 2015, is regarded as something of an outlier for the top job.

    A Suella Braverman for PM Twitter account has nonetheless sprung up, with Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne being the first to tweet his support for her bid.

    Jeremy Hunt

    • Former foreign, health and defence secretary
    • Lost to Johnson in 2019 leadership election
    • Remainer turned Brexit supporter
    • Long seen as the moderate, anti-Boris candidate 
    • Father of two whose wife is Chinese
    • Odds: 50/1  

    Mr Hunt confirmed his widely anticipated leadership bid in The Sunday Telegraph, making similar tax-cutting pledges to fellow ex-health secretary Mr Javid.

    The foreign secretary, whose Remainer background may have been part of what ruled him out of the running in 2019, has been a persistent critic of Mr Johnson.

    Seen by some as a bit of a Thatcher reboot, Mr Hunt might appeal to those who want a sensible choice of leader after months of instability.

    As chairman of the Commons Health Committee, he has used his position to make a number of critical interventions on the Government’s handling of the pandemic, although his strong support for lockdown measures will not have pleased all Tory MPs.

    Kemi Badenoch

    • Former equalities minister who fought against ‘woke’
    • A 42-year-old banker with Nigerian heritage
    • Has received the shock backing of Michael Gove 
    • Odds: 12/1 

    Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch threw her hat into the ring with a plan for a smaller state and a government ‘focused on the essentials’.

    The MP for Saffron Walden said she supported lower taxes ‘to boost growth and productivity, and accompanied by tight spending discipline’.

    Writing in The Times, the 42-year-old former banker, who grew up in the UK, US and Nigeria, also hit out at ‘identity politics’ and said Boris Johnson was ‘a symptom of the problems we face, not the cause of them’.

    Ms Badenoch may be considered an outsider for the leadership given the Tory grandees already in the running, but her profile was boosted by an endorsement from Michael Gove on Sunday.

    Writing in the Sun the former minister said: ‘As I reflect on what it takes to deliver in government – on the mistakes I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned, the progress I helped secure – I know one thing is true above all. If you want to drive change, empower the right people. Kemi Badenoch has the Right Stuff.’

    He went on to say the party needed a leader with ‘Kemi’s focus, intellect and no-bulls*** drive’.

    Rehman Chishti

    • Surprise candidate stepped up on Sunday
    • Has never held a ministerial office
    • Was a Labour candidate at the 2005 election
    • Remainer who criticised Boris Johnson over Brexit lawbreaking 
    • Will Hill not offering odds 

    The newly appointed Foreign Office minister made an even unlikelier bid for the Tory leadership on Sunday evening in a video posted on Facebook.

    Mr Chishti said the right candidate would have ‘a proven track record of coming to the table with ideas and creativity to help improve people’s lives’.

    The MP for Gillingham and Rainham has an unusual political background, having previously stood as a Labour candidate in the 2005 general election before defecting to the Conservatives in 2007.

    In 2020 he resigned as Mr Johnson’s special envoy for freedom of religion over the Government’s stance on the Northern Ireland protocol.

    The former barrister said at the time clauses in the UK Internal Markets Bill ‘unilaterally break (the) UK’s legal commitments’.

    Priti Patel?

    • Hardline Home Secretary
    • Overseeing Rwanda migrant deportations
    • Was sacked by Theresa May when junior minister
    • Was embroiled in bullying row over senior civil servant
    • Odds: 66/1 

    Priti Patel has amassed a solid core of supporters, despite not yet committing to a leadership bid.

    She already has more supporters from within Tory ranks than Suella Braverman and Sajid Javid.

    Supporters point to her hardline time as Home Secretary, a role she has held throughout Boris Johnson’s leadership. 

    She is the architect of the £120million scheme to send illegal migrants to Rwanda, though none have yet to be sent to the African country. 

    But her tenure has also be rocked by scandals. She had been criticised over the car crash that is the Metropolitan Police and barely survived a bullying scandal that resulted in a payout for the Home Office’s senior civil servant. 

     

    Labour pushes for no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s government TOMORROW in stunt designed to turn up the heat on Tory MPs 

    Keir Starmer is pushing for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson‘s government to happen tomorrow.

    Labour sources said they will table a motion today intended to force a Commons showdown on whether the PM still commands a majority.

    The stunt is intended to turn up the heat on Tory MPs, after Sir Keir insisted it is unacceptable for Mr Johnson to stay in post while a successor is chosen.

    If Mr Johnson loses he would be expected to resign immediately. 

    However, the bid looks doomed to fail as the government still has a sizeable majority, despite the coup that saw the premier announce he is standing down. 

    Keir Starmer is pushing for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson 's government to happen tomorrow

    Keir Starmer is pushing for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson ‘s government to happen tomorrow

    By convention when the official Opposition requests a confidence vote the government allows time for one at the earliest possible opportunity – which would be tomorrow. 

    It is a separate process from the Tory confidence vote that Mr Johnson faced last month, when the premier saw off the initial challenge to his position.   

    Yesterday Sir Keir repeated demands for a general election to oust the ‘zombie’ Tory government, taunting ‘bring it on’.

    The Labour leader accused Boris Johnson of ‘squatting in Downing Street‘, following his announcement on Thursday that he will make way for a new incumbent of No10.

    Sir Keir said that the country needs a ‘fresh start’ and called for an urgent general election.

     

    Carrie Johnson sees No10 as a ‘prison’ and plans to quit politics when Boris leaves power as the couple plan for life after years in Downing Street ‘pressure cooker’ 

    Carrie Johnson feels that No10 is ‘like a prison’ and will seek to make a clean break with politics when Boris leaves power.

    Reports say that the Prime Minister’s wife, a former Conservative Party spinner, wants them to get away from the ‘pressure cooker’ of life in Downing Street.

    The couple live in a lavish four-bedroom flat about No11, but she is reported to be unhappy about the constant scrutiny they face outside it.

    According to the Telegraph the keen environmentalist wants to focus on her charity work when the new Tory leader takes over in September.

    The couple have a £1.2million home in Camberwell, south London, but do not plan to live there for security reasons. Mr Johnson also has a home in Oxfordshire, which, like the London house, is rented out commercially.

    A source told the paper:  ‘Downing Street is like a prison. It’s nice enough in the flat but it doesn’t have its own outside space that is genuinely yours. 

    ‘The garden is shared with the staff and you can’t move outside of the gates without people following you or taking pictures. That is a nightmare.’

    Reports say that the Prime Minister's wife, a former Conservative Party spinner, wants them to get away from the 'pressure cooker' of life in Downing Street.

    Reports say that the Prime Minister’s wife, a former Conservative Party spinner, wants them to get away from the ‘pressure cooker’ of life in Downing Street.

    The couple live in a lavish four-bedroom flat about No11, but she is reported to be unhappy about the constant scrutiny they face outside it.

    The couple live in a lavish four-bedroom flat about No11, but she is reported to be unhappy about the constant scrutiny they face outside it.

    It came as Rachel Johnson defended her brother Boris in an emotional retelling of his time as Prime Minister while praising his ‘drive, intelligence and energy’ as he set to achieve his ‘childhood ambition’ of being ‘world king’. 

    The LBC presenter opened up about the PM who finally conceded he had run out of options after ministers and MPs forced Mr Johnson into announcing his resignation last Thursday.

    But her passionate defence of his record in Number 10 did not meet with universal admiration, as one twitter user wrote that the ‘delusional’ presenter ‘should stick to doing her sobbing at home’.

    She commended her brother for ‘steering the country through the Covid pandemic’ and ‘setting the west’s course’ after Russia invaded Ukraine while ‘conveying his own belief of what it is to be British’.

    Mrs Johnson, 56, described the ‘rise and fall’ of her brother who ‘almost achieved’ the ambition he has kept since he was two: to be ‘world king’.

    She said: ‘I haven’t deliberately been listening to much of the vindictiveness, the dancing on the grave, the spitting on the grave and I’m not listening to those who have made a good listening out of Boris bashing. I’m not here to praise him and I’m not here to bury him – just to say a few simple things from the heart as his sister. 

    ‘Let me tell you a story as Rishi’s slick promotional video started, lets say the rise and fall of Boris in a way that a small child might understand.

    ‘Once upon a time there was a little boy who dreamt of becoming world king, he first said that when he was two, and actually almost achieved his ambition.

    ‘He wasn’t rich in wealth, his privilege was in his education, his intelligence, his drive, his energy, and he set about achieving his childhood ambitions, including writing a number one bestseller, which he did with his book: The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History.

    She referenced Partygate and how Mr Johnson celebrated his 56th birthday in June 2020 with a small gathering and a birthday cake in the cabinet room. 

     

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