The race to be the UK’s next Prime Minister is on – and the list of contenders will be significantly shortened by the end of this week.
Today, Conservative MPs will take part in the first round of MP voting. Candidates had to secure 20 nominations from their fellow Tory MPs to be on today’s ballot – over double the eight nominations required in 2019’s leadership race.
The ten successful MPs on the ballot today are Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Nadhim Zahawi.
By the end of this week, this list will likely number only four or five, as a total of 358 Tory MPs will today cast their votes. The results of this first round of voting will likely be announced this evening.
Narrowing the field
After today’s first round of voting, any candidates with less than 30 votes will be eliminated from the race. The voting then continues in this fashion until there are two candidates remaining – and the final decision goes to the 200,000 members of the Conservative Party, with this minute percentage of the British public deciding the country’s next leader.
The winner – and new Prime Minister – will be announced on 5 September. This PM will then remain in office until December 2024, when the next General Election is due. Unless, of course, they call an early election to legitimise their office by gaining a mandate from the wider UK public, not just Conservative Party members.
Boris Johnson – who last week resigned from his position as Leader of the Conservative Party – has not yet offered his support to any candidates. According to the BBC, rumours swirled of an anti-Sunak campaign being run by No 10 as Johnson reels from Sunak’s resignation that kickstarted the endemic ministerial resignations that eventually forced the now-ex-leader to resign.
When asked by the BBC for comment, a spokesperson for Johnson said that he is ‘not getting involved in any leadership conversations.’
The spokesperson also emphasised that the PM is ‘remaining neutral’ in the race to become his successor.