The race to replace Theresa May as British prime minister has started as former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom are the latest MPs to pledge to run, joining Matt Hancock, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and Rory Stewart.
Theresa May as leader of Britain’s Conservative Party was fired as she resigned on Friday morning amid Brexit chaos.
With five months to go to the Brexit deadline, Britain’s governing Conservative party is holding a leadership election. Realistically, one of the new leader’s first jobs is going to be asking the EU for another extension to Article 50.
Here is a list of confirmed contenders and some who are believed to be seriously considering entering the contest
The former mayor of London has long coveted the top job. He announced he would be standing.He is a “hard Brexiteer”, having first made his name as a Europe correspondent. Sacked by The Times for making up a quote, he became Brussels columnist for the Conservative-leaning Daily Telegraph, where he became “one of the greatest exponents of fake journalism”,
He is a popular figure with Conservative members, but has fewer fans in Parliament. His main task will be to convince enough Tory MPs to vote for him to get on to the ballot of party members.
He stepped back from the 2016 leadership fight after fellow Brexiteer Michael Gove launched his own campaign for a run at the top job.
The former Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom came second to Theresa May in the 2016 leadership competition, pulling out to allow May to take power unopposed.
Ms Leadsom has served as MP for South Northamptonshire since 2010 and was environment secretary before taking up the post of Leader of the House of Commons.
As former banker and prominent Brexiteer, she argued that Bank of England governor Mark Carney had destabilised markets with his doom-laden predictions of the potential fall-out of a “no-deal” crash out of the EU.
Dominic Raab was a principal architect of the withdrawal agreement, yet the day after it was presented to the cabinet, he resigned as Brexit secretary, saying he could not support the deal.
He was appointed as a justice minister in 2015 but was sacked by Theresa May when she became prime minister the following year.
After David Davis’s resignation as Brexit secretary in July 2018, Mr Raab was appointed his successor, only to resign himself in opposition to Mrs May’s EU deal, which he said he could not “in good conscience” support.
As education secretary, Gove won few friends among teachers, infuriating many with reactionary proposals including arcane grammar standards, and sending copies of the King James Bible to all schools in the country.
The former journalist, who has been MP for Surrey Heath since 2005, was a key ally of then Prime Minister David Cameron before throwing his weight behind the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum.
He has stayed in the cabinet as environment secretary to fight for Mrs May’s EU deal, rather than following other Brexiteers out of the door.
The environment secretary’s backers include schools minister Nick Gibb and fellow MPs Kevin Hollinrake, John Stevenson, Sir Edward Leigh and Bob Seely.
After six years at the Department of Health, Jeremy Hunt was moved to the Foreign Office following Boris Johnson’s resignation.
Jeremy Hunt oversaw the imposition of a new junior doctors’ employment contract after negotiations with unions broke down. Such was the discontent, doctors went on strike – the first such industrial action in 40 years.
He was made culture secretary under the coalition government in 2010 and moved to health after overseeing the 2012 London Olympics.
As foreign secretary, Hunt has been a frequent supporter of Britain’s friendship with Saudi Arabia, particularly when Riyadh has come into criticism for its actions in the war in Yemen and the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The home secretary backed Remain in the Brexit referendum but with a “heavy heart and no enthusiasm”, and he has never hidden his Eurosceptism.
Sajid is a second-generation migrant to Britain, whose parents came from Pakistan. As home secretary, he has presided over a crackdown on immigration, enforcing rules that, had they been in place, would have prevented his father from entering the United Kingdom.
A former banker, reportedly at one point on a $3 million annual salary, he became an MP (annual salary $100,000) in 2010. A former protege of George Osborne at the Treasury, he has been an MP since 2010 and has previously served as business secretary, culture secretary and communities and local government secretary.
Penny Mordaunt was appointed the UK’s first ever female defence secretary earlier this month after Gavin Williamson was sacked
The former international development secretary spent some time working as head of foreign media for George W Bush’s election campaign. She was a high-profile campaigner for the Leave campaign during the 2016 EU referendum, and underlined her pro-Brexit credentials by backing Andrea Leadsom in the subsequent Conservative leadership contest.
A Brexit supporter and former TV presenter, Esther McVey quit as work and pensions secretary last November in protest at Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement with the EU.
The former GMTV presenter Esther McVey is a backbench MP with previous government experience, having resigned as work and pensions secretary last November in protest at the way Brexit negotiations were being handled.
She was in charge of overseeing the problematic Universal Credit programme but was found to have misled parliament when stating the National Audit Office had recommended the acceleration of the rollout.
A junior minister in the Ministry of Defence, and a former captain in the Royal Green Jackets, an infantry regiment of the British Army, Ellwood has been building government experience in one of the most influential departments.
Ellwood came to public prominence during the 2017 attack on parliament, in which a man drove a car into pedestrians, killing four and injuring more than 50, before jumping out and stabbing a police officer guarding the entrance to parliament.
Sir Graham Brady
The long-standing chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee resigned his position shortly after Mrs May’s announcement and said he was considering running.
“I have been urged by a number of colleagues from across the party from inside Parliament, and outside, asking me to put myself forward as a candidate,” he told the BBC. “Therefore, I have made the decision to stand down as chair of the 1922 Committee in order to ensure a fair and transparent election process.”
Sir Graham, knighted in the 2018 New Year Honours, has been a Conservative MP since 1997, chairing the 1922 Committee since 2010
he former prisons minister was appointed international development secretary in early May, in a reshuffle that followed Gavin Williamson’s sacking.
Although once a Remain supporter, he said he accepted Brexit but wanted “to reach out to Remain voters as well to bring this country together again”.