Tory leadership candidates 2022: contenders who could replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader

The frontrunners to be the next Prime Minister include Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak

Five names have made it into the third round of voting among Tory MPs to elect a successor to Boris Johnson, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, has announced.

The race for the next Conservative Leader is underway after Boris Johnson resigned on 7 July.

Mr Johnson stepped down as the Conservative Party Leader in the wake of the Chris Pincher scandal, which saw several cabinet members resign from office.

The race is on for who will be the next Conservative leader (Image: NationalWorld/ Kim Mogg)

The field of candidates for the new Prime Minister has now been whittled down, with five having secured enough backing from fellow MPs to progress to the next stage.

In the first round of voting on Wednesday (13 July), Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi dropped out when they failed to win the backing of 30 MPs.

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In the second round of voting on Thursday (14 July), Suella Braverman failed to make the cut and dropped out.

The full result of the second round:

  • Rishi Sunak - 101 votes
  • Penny Mordaunt - 83 votes
  • Liz Truss - 64 votes
  • Kemi Badenoch - 49 votes
  • Tom Tugendhat - 32 votes
  • Suella Braverman - 27 votes

Here’s everything you need to know about who could replace Boris Johnson.

The candidates still in the race:

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Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak resigned as Chancellor on 5 July along with Sajid Javid (Pic: Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak has been an MP for Richmond (Yorks) since 2014.

He resigned from his position as Chancellor along with Javid on 5 July, citing “concerns about leadership.”

Sunak is responsible for rolling the furlough scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has faced criticism about his response to the soaring cost of living crisis and news that his wife had a non-dom tax status.

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In the second round of voting he came top again, with 101 votes from MPs.

Liz Truss

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was a firm supporter of Boris Johnson (Pic: Getty Images)

Liz Truss has been an MP for South West Norfolk since 2010.

The Foreign Secretary was a firm believer in Johnson, stating that she was “100% behind the PM.”

Truss cut short her attendance at the G20 meeting to return to London, following the PM’s resignation.

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She has made some memorable blunders during her time as Foreign Secretary, with her confusing the Baltic and Black Sea and confusing the Greek Foreign Secretary with a singer, a few of the most memorable.

She finished third in the first and second round of voting, with 64 votes in the second poll.

Penny Mordaunt

Mordaunt has been an MP for Portsmouth North since 2010 (Pic: Getty Images)

Penny Mordaunt has been an MP for Portsmouth North since 2010. The former Defence Minister was fired by Johnson, but now is in the running to replace him.

A firm believer in Brexit, she was heavily involved in the Vote Leave campaign.

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The former magician’s assistant has also taken part in Tom Daley’s Channel 4 reality TV show, Splash.

She has emerged as a bookie’s favourite to win, due to her widespread popularity among Conservative members.

She finished second in the first two rounds of voting, winning 83 votes in the second round.

Tom Tugendhat

Tom Tugendhat has never served in government (Pic: AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Tugendhat has been the MP for Tonbridge and Malling since 2015 and currently serves as the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Although Tugendhat has never served in government, he put himself forward as a leadership candidate.

The former military officer is favourite amongst Conservative centrists and said he would offer a “fresh start.”

Mr Tugendhat finished fifth in the second round of voting with 32 votes.

Kemi Badenoch

Kemi Badenoch is standing to be Conservative Party leader.

Kemi Badenoch, former equalities minister, has been an MP for Saffron Walden since 2017

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She has received a glowing endorsement from former levelling up secretary Michael Gove, who described her as “brave, principled, brilliant and kind.”

Ms Badenoch has previously served as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education.

She finished fourth in the second round of voting, with the support of 49 MPs.

Those who pulled out or failed to make the cut:

Suella Braverman

Attorney General Suella Braverman QC arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on July 12, 2022 in London, England. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images

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Suella Braverman has been an MP for Fareham since 2015.

She has served as the Attorney General for England and Wales since 2020.

Even before the PM confirmed he was leaving, she had already shared her interest to run.

A staunch Brexit supporter, Braverman paved the way for cabinet ministers to access maternity leave, after being the first to do so during her tenure.

She dropped out of the race in the second round of voting, after failing to win the backing of 30 MPs.

Sajid Javid

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The former Health Secretary finished fourth in the Conservative leadership race in 2019 (Pic: Getty Images)

Sajid Javid has been an MP for Bromsgrove since 2010. The former Health Secretary resigned from his role on 5 July in response to the PM’s handling of the Chris Pincher scandal.

He had been rumoured to replace Johnson ever since.

Javid is no stranger to the Conservative leadership race, having finished in fourth place in his bid to replace Theresea May in 2019. The MP has been here before, finishing in fourth place at the Conservative leadership race in 2019.

However, moments before the announcement in a Commons committee room, former Mr Javid said he was pulling out having apparently failed to attract enough support.

Rehman Chishti

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Rehman Chishti announced his bid for leadership in a Facebook video.

Rehman Chishti has been an MP for Gillingham and Rainham since 2010. Mr Chishti made a surprise entry to the leadership race, declaring his candidacy in a video posted on Facebook.

In the video, he said: "For me, it’s important to ensure everyone who works hard, who’s determined, who perseveres, that they have a government that is on their side, and that means lower taxes, small state, big society."

He failed to win the backing of a single MP.

Nadhim Zahawi

Nadhi Zahawi is running for leader of the Conservative Party

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Nadhim Zahawi has been an MP for Stratford Upon Avon since 2010.

The newly appointed Chancellor was previously the Vaccines Minister during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Education Secretary.

Zahawi was born in Iraq in 1967, with his family moving to the UK after Saddam Hussein came to power.

He made his fortune by founding YouGov, the online polling platform.

He dropped out of the 2022 leadership campaign in the first round of voting after only gaining 25 votes from fellow MPs.

Jeremy Hunt

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Conservative leadership contender Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt has been an MP for South West Surrey since 2005.

He joined the government in 2010 as Culture Secretary and went on to have roles in the cabinet including Health Secretary and Foreign Secretary.

A remain voter, Hunt was defeated in the last leadership contest against Boris Johnson in 2019.

He dropped out of the 2022 leadership campaign after only gaining 18 votes from fellow MPs.