If you are struggling to keep up with the number of Tory MPs throwing their hats into the ring to be the next PM, here’s the Hound’s latest round-up to help you out.
For now, there are 11 wannabes who have declared that they are vying for the top job, and another two — Priti Patel and Jacob Rees-Mogg — who are said to be contemplating a run.
According to the bookies, Rishi Sunak, having recently launched his “Ready for Rishi” campaign slogan, is in pole position for the premiership. Whilst Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss are coming in at silver and bronze, far ahead of the rest of the opposition.
For Rehman Chishti, undoubtedly the least known candidate, the chances of success are pretty slim, with some bookies giving him the same odds of becoming PM as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who has publicly stated that he won’t be running.
What is more important though, is who is backing whom. The latest figures also give Sunak the lead, with 35 MPs having declared their support. Those favouring Sunak include Oliver Dowden, the former Conservative co-chair, and Leader of the House, Mark Spencer.
Chasing Sunak, Mordaunt has secured 21 backers, with the likes of one-time leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom, George Freeman, the science minister, and the golden-haired Michael Fabricant filling her ranks. Liz Truss, on the other hand, has only 15 supporters so far, with Tom Tugendhat currently holding third place with 18 backers.
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Priti Patel has yet to announce her standing, but is reportedly set to rely on her image as an “authentic Brexiteer,” and has already secured enough support to put her in fourth place alongside Nadhim Zahawi, Kemi Badenoch and Jeremy Hunt, all of whom have 13 MPs behind them. Patel’s support includes the new education minister Andrea Jenkyns, who showed her middle finger to protesters outside Downing Street on Thursday.
Also in fourth place, is the former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, who might be the one to watch. Notably, Badenoch has secured the support of Boris Johnson’s archnemesis, Michael Gove.