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Tory leadership candidates: Who’s in the race for No 10?

The race is on to find the new occupant of 10 Downing Street (PA)
The race is on to find the new occupant of 10 Downing Street (PA)

A crowded field of contenders is vying to replace Boris Johnson as the next Tory leader and Prime Minister.

Here are the MPs who have thrown their hat in the ring.

– Rishi Sunak

Age: 42.

Experience: was Chancellor of the Exchequer until July 5 when he quit in protest at the Prime Minister’s leadership.

Key message: The former chancellor has positioned himself as the candidate prepared to tell hard truths about the state of the public finances rather than “comforting fairy tales” – something that may not endear him to Tory MPs and activists eager for tax cuts.

Campaign name: Ready for Rishi.

– Penny Mordaunt

Age: 49.

Experience: Currently Trade Minister, has Cabinet experience in the defence and international development briefs.

Key message: Her campaign launch video highlighted the need for “solemnity and wisdom” in contrast to the Johnson era. Ms Mordaunt, a Royal Navy Reservist, said leadership “needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship”. She has pledged a 50% cut in VAT on fuel.

Campaign name: PM 4 PM.

– Liz Truss

Age: 46.

Experience: Foreign Secretary.

Key message: She used a Daily Telegraph article to launch her bid, promising to “lead, deliver and make the tough decisions”. She has pledged to “start cutting taxes from day one”, reversing April’s rise in National Insurance and promising to keep “corporation tax competitive”.

Campaign name: Liz for Leader.

Sunday Morning
Sajid Javid has pledged to scrap the Government’s controversial national insurance hike (BBC/PA)

– Sajid Javid

Age: 52.

Experience: Former chancellor. Was health secretary until he resigned on July 5.

Key message: He would scrap the National Insurance rise – despite campaigning for the extra funding it provides while health secretary – and has pledged to cut corporation tax to 15% from its current 19%, a full 10 percentage points lower than the planned rate of 25% from April 2023.

Campaign name: Team Saj.

Boris Johnson resignation
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said tackling the cost-of-living crisis and strengthening the economy are top of his agenda (PA)

– Grant Shapps

Age: 53.

Experience: Currently in the Cabinet as Transport Secretary.

What’s his message: Another candidate promising tax cuts, he would take 1p off income tax and scrap the proposed increase in corporation tax. He has also highlighted his record as a campaigner and organiser to tell nervous Tory MPs “I can help you win your seat”.

Campaign name: Back Shapps.

Downing Street turmoil
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi argued Britons must be trusted ‘to do what is best for themselves’ (PA)

– Nadhim Zahawi

Age: 55.

Experience: Current Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Key message: Has promised that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to taxes, highlighting concerns about the planned increase to 25% and also hinting at bringing forward the cut 1p cut in income tax.

Campaign name: None.

Sunday Morning
Tom Tugendhat has been a trenchant critic of Mr Johnson (PA)

– Tom Tugendhat

Age: 49.

Experience: Never held ministerial office but chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

Key message: A former Army Intelligence Corps officer, he has made a virtue of his lack of ministerial experience to promise a “clean start”. Has vowed to reverse the National Insurance rise and cut fuel tax.

Campaign name: Tom – A Clean Start.

Boris Johnson resignation

Attorney General Suella Braverman was first elected as an MP in 2015 and is regarded as something of an outlier for the top job (PA) [/caption]

– Suella Braverman

Age: 42.

Experience: Current Attorney General.

Key message: She has promised “rapid and large tax cuts”. She would suspend net zero targets to deal with the energy crisis and pull the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Campaign name: Suella 4 Leader.

– Jeremy Hunt

Sunday Morning
Jeremy Hunt is having another run at the Tory leadership after losing to Boris Johnson in 2019 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Age: 55.

Experience: Former foreign secretary, health secretary and culture secretary.

Key message: He has promised to slash corporation tax to 15% and remove business rates for five years in the poorest communities. But he would keep the National Insurance rise and any cut in income tax could only come if it was sustainable, with a growing economy.

Campaign name: Win Back Trust.

Downing Street turmoil
Kemi Badenoch has been endorsed by Michael Gove (PA)

– Kemi Badenoch

Age: 42.

Experience: Resigned as equalities minister and a minister in the Levelling Up department on July 6.

Key message: She wants lower taxes and “limited government” that focuses on the essentials. She appears to be targeting the anti-woke vote, complaining about “the shutting down of debate” and stressing the need to “reinvigorate the case for free speech”.

Campaign name: None.

Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan
Rehman Chishti previously stood as a Labour candidate in the 2005 general election before defecting to the Conservatives in 2007 (PA)

– Rehman Chishti

Age: 43.

Experience: Appointed as a junior foreign minister on July 8 and was Tory vice-chair in 2018.

Key message: He promised a Government of “lower taxes, small state, big society”. Mr Chishti said his vision was “about aspirational conservatism, it’s about fresh ideas and then it comes down to having a fresh team”.

Campaign name: None.