Executive members of the UK Conservative Party’s Parliamentary group yesterday read out the official list of Tory leadership candidates whose nomination has been accepted, with the first ballot expected to be held on Thursday morning.
Vying for the position of Conservative Party leader and UK Prime Minister are former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Health Secretary Matthew Hancock, former Chief Whip Mark Harper, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom, former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and International Development Secretary Rory Steward.
This brings the number of valid nominations up to 10 candidates, many of which have already officially launched their leadership campaign.
The first ballot is expected to take place on Thursday morning, where members of the Tory Parliamentary group will vote on the candidates at hand. The candidate with the least votes is dropped and this process is repeated until two candidates are left standing.
At this stage, the vote is opened to members of the Conservative Party who will then choose between the last two candidates. Mrs Theresa May officially stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party on 7th June, however she will remain on as Prime Minister until her successor is chosen.
Among the leading contestants to replace the outgoing PM are Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab. Following a series of votes within the Tory Parliamentary group to narrow down the contests, the remaining two candidates will then have a month to campaign. They will have to win the favour of some 150,000 Conservative party members, with the new leader expected to be elected by the end of July.
Brexit, having been stuck in Parliamentary gridlock, has now been extended until 31st October 2019, meaning a new British PM will have to race against the clock should they hope to succeed where Mrs Theresa May has not.