Next UK prime minister race: Three favourites emerge as Boris Johnson weighs up sensational return to No10

THREE frontrunners are emerging in the Tory leadership race after Liz Truss sensationally quit as PM yesterday,

The 1922 Committee leader, Sir Graham Brady, spelt out the rules for the leadership contest on Thursday afternoon, with the window for nominations set to close at 2pm on Monday.

Candidates to replace Liz Truss as Tory leader will need at least 100 nominations from Conservative MPs, and now, three favourites have emerged in Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and, sensationally, Boris Johnson.

Boris is currently holidaying in the Caribbean with his family, but reports suggest he could make his way back to the UK to throw his hat into the ring in the race for No10.

Nadine Dorries has already come out in support of the former PM, she said: “There is only one MP who has the mandate of the British public, who won a general election only three years ago with an 80-seat majority and that was Boris Johnson.”

Read our Liz Truss live blog below for the latest news & updates….

  • RECAP: How will the leadership race take place?

    Leadership hopefuls will need to woo over at least 100 Tory MPs by 2pm on Monday.

    At that point MPs will vote for their favourite candidate, whittling down the pool to two.

    Tory members will then be given the chance to vote online for their choice of the final pair.

    On Friday, October 28 the winner will be announced.

    Just one hustings event will take place.

  • Tory’s face ‘extinction’ if leadership race goes wrong, health minister warns

    Health minister Robert Jenrick has issued a stark warning to his colleagues, claiming the Tory party could face ‘extinction’ as it looks to find a new leader.

    He told The News Agents podcast: “This isn’t an ordinary leadership contest. It’s more extraordinary than the one we had in the summer.

    “If we get this wrong, the country will face a very serious period of further instability and the Conservative Party will lose the next general election, potentially cease to exist.”

  • Nadine Dorries backs Boris

    Unsurprisingly, Nadine Dorries has declared her support for former PM Boris Johnson in the leadership race.

    Revealing she spoke to Mr Johnson at lunchtime yesterday, she said: “It’s now down to MPs to decide who it is that they want to back.

    “There is only one MP who has the mandate of the British public, who won a general election only three years ago with an 80-seat majority and that was Boris Johnson.”

  • Boris’s sister breaks silence on potential return

    Speaking on Question Time yesterday evening, Boris Johnson’s sister, Rachel, was tight-lipped regarding his potential return to Number 10.

    When asked if Mr Johnson could enter the race, she simply said: “I don’t know.”

    A number of MPs have already thrown their support behind Johnson, but it will be a tough challenge for him to reach the required 100 nominations.

  • Edward Timpson CBE declares support from Rishi Sunak

    Another MP put their support behind Rishi Sunak yesterday evening, as the race for Number 10 heated up.

    Taking to Twitter, Mr Timpson said: “The last few weeks have proven that we already have a #leadership candidate with a realistic #economic plan.

    “@RishiSunak has a plan that @Conservatives MPs can compromise and unite behind, so that we can reunite the Party with the public too.”

    Rishi Sunak is currently the favourite to be PM come next week, but some reports are suggesting Boris Johnson could attempt a sensational return, with many party members backing him.

  • BLUES CLUES – HOW BORIS DROPPED HINTS OF A COMEBACK 

    Clue 1: Boris memorably ended his Commons swan song with the farewell “hasta la vista baby”. The phrase was coined by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, who also famously says “I’ll be back”.

    Clue 2: In his final goodbye outside No10, the departing PM compared himself to Roman statesman Cincinnatus “returning to his plough”. Surely the Classics scholar would have known that Cincinnatus later returned to power as dictator. 

    Clue 3: Rather than disappearing completely from the political stage Boris has remained a passionate defender of Ukraine, and was recently elected chair of the Conservative Friends of Ukraine. 

    Clue 4: His fiercest supporter Nadine Dorries has continued to make the case for Boris, even suggesting he should be on the last leadership ballot – something the ex PM didn’t deny.

    Clue 5: Unlike some of his predecessors, Boris has not resigned as an MP – meaning he is eligible to stand for the leadership.

  • Lib Dems say there is a ‘big movement’ for a general election

    Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, has once again called for a general election.

    “I think there’s a big movement in the country for a general election,” he said.

    The leader added: “I can’t believe Boris Johnson is considering putting himself forward. There’s an inquiry into whether he misled parliament and the whole of the British people.

    “It’s quite outrageous if Tory MPs allow him back.

    “Moving the deck chairs on the Titanic is not what this country needs.”

  • The leadership race: A timeline

    Here is the expected timeline of the upcoming Tory leadership race.

    By October 28, Britain will have its third prime minister in less than six months.

    Thursday October 20

    6pm: Nomination papers to be PM open. Nominations will need the name of 100 Tory MPs

    Monday October 24

    2pm: Nominations close

    2.30pm: Hustings for candidates who win 100 backers

    3.30pm: First MP ballot takes place

    6pm: Result of first ballot announced

    6.30pm – 8.30pm: Second ballot (if required)

    9pm: Announcement of top two candidates

    Tuesday October 25

    Ballot opens up to Tory members if two candidates are still standing

    Friday

    The winner of the members’ ballot and new PM is announced

  • What YOU need to know about PM hopeful Penny Mordaunt

    The Commons chief appeared a favourite with members during the leadership race but ultimately finished third in the vote.

    The ex-Defence Secretary has been a thorn in the PM’s side despite sitting beside her in cabinet for the last two months.

    But she is highly divisive among MPs, and is unlikely to command a majority of them.

    Currently, she is 7/2 to be the next PM

  • Tory MP threatens to quit if Boris returns

    One Tory MP has threatened to resign from his position if Bors were to make a dramatic return to Downing Street.

    “I would find it impossible to serve under Boris coming back and being prime minister… I think that is one person I would have problems with,” said John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay in Essex.

    He added: “We’ve now got to look forward and pick a new candidate, somebody who has credibility, experience and can unite the party.”

  • Grant Shapps suggests he won’t join the race

    The newly appointed home secretary has taken to Twitter to suggest he won’t be involved in the race for Number 10.

    He penned: “It’s a tremendous privilege to be leading the Home Office in its task of protecting the British people.

    “Government goes on, despite the current political upheavals, and I will remain fully focused on the job as we select the next PM.”

  • Could this be our next PM?

    Boris Johnson, Rish Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, all names that could be moving into Number 10 come next Friday.

    However, one candidate has already declared victory.

    And who would that be? Larry the Cat of course.

    A parody account for Downing Street’s chief mouser told its over 700,000 followers: “The King has asked me to become Prime Minister because this nonsense has gone on long enough.”

  • Nadine Dorries backs Boris

    Unsurprisingly, Nadine Dorries has declared her support for former PM Boris Johnson in the leadership race.

    Revealing she spoke to Mr Johnson at lunchtime today, she said: “It’s now down to MPs to decide who it is that they want to back.

    “There is only one MP who has the mandate of the British public, who won a general election only three years ago with an 80-seat majority and that was Boris Johnson.”

  • Boris’s sister breaks silence on potential return

    Speaking on Question Time this evening, Boris Johnson’s sister, Rachel, was tight-lipped regarding his potential return to Number 10.

    When asked if Mr Johnson could enter the race, she simply said: “I don’t know.”

    A number of MPs have already thrown their support behind Johnson, but it will be a tough challenge for him to reach the required 100 nominations.

  • Edward Timpson CBE declares support from Rishi Sunak

    Another MP has put their support behind Rishi Sunak this evening, as the race for Number 10 heats up.

    Taking to Twitter, Mr Timpson said: “The last few weeks have proven that we already have a #leadership candidate with a realistic #economic plan.

    “@RishiSunak has a plan that @Conservatives MPs can compromise and unite behind, so that we can reunite the Party with the public too.”

    Rishi Sunak is currently the favourite to be PM come next week, but some reports are suggesting Boris Johnson could attempt a sensational return, with many party members backing him.

  • Lib Dems say there is a ‘big movement’ for a general election

    Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, has once again called for a general election.

    “I think there’s a big movement in the country for a general election,” he said.

    The leader added: “I can’t believe Boris Johnson is considering putting himself forward. There’s an inquiry into whether he misled parliament and the whole of the British people.

    “It’s quite outrageous if Tory MPs allow him back.

    “Moving the deck chairs on the Titanic is not what this country needs.”

  • The leadership race: A timeline

    Here is the expected timeline of the upcoming Tory leadership race.

    By October 28, Britain will have its third prime minister in less than six months.

    Thursday October 20

    6pm: Nomination papers to be PM open. Nominations will need the name of 100 Tory MPs

    Monday October 24

    2pm: Nominations close

    2.30pm: Hustings for candidates who win 100 backers

    3.30pm: First MP ballot takes place

    6pm: Result of first ballot announced

    6.30pm – 8.30pm: Second ballot (if required)

    9pm: Announcement of top two candidates

    Tuesday October 25

    Ballot opens up to Tory members if two candidates are still standing

    Friday

    The winner of the members’ ballot and new PM is announced

  • Labour boasts party is ‘very prepared’ for general election

    Sir Keir Starmer has boasted how the Labour party is “very prepared” for a general election and has a manifesto ready.

    “There’s a manifesto that is going to be ready whenever an election is called,” the Leader of the Opposition told the BBC’s Newscast podcast.

    “I’ve had a team working on that. I’ve had a team working on general election preparedness.

    “We’ve moved our teams on to a general election footing. And I’ve got in place all the grids I need for a general election.

    “So we’re very, very prepared, should there be a general election.”

  • What YOU need to know about PM hopeful Penny Mordaunt

    The Commons chief appeared a favourite with members during the leadership race but ultimately finished third in the vote.

    The ex-Defence Secretary has been a thorn in the PM’s side despite sitting beside her in cabinet for the last two months.

    But she is highly divisive among MPs, and is unlikely to command a majority of them.

    Currently, she is 7/2 to be the next PM

  • Tory MP threatens to quit if Boris returns

    One Tory MP has threatened to resign from his position if Bors were to make a dramatic return to Downing Street.

    “I would find it impossible to serve under Boris coming back and being prime minister… I think that is one person I would have problems with,” said John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay in Essex.

    He added: “We’ve now got to look forward and pick a new candidate, somebody who has credibility, experience and can unite the party.”

  • Boris already has 18 backers, reports claim

    The road to 100 backers will be long, but according to Sky News, Boris Johnson already has 18 supporters among Tory MPs.

    This is second only to Rishi Sunak, with 20 nominations as things stand.

    Voting will close on Monday at 2pm, before the decision is put to Tory party members.

  • BLUES CLUES – HOW BORIS DROPPED HINTS OF A COMEBACK 

    Clue 1: Boris memorably ended his Commons swan song with the farewell “hasta la vista baby”. The phrase was coined by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, who also famously says “I’ll be back”.

    Clue 2: In his final goodbye outside No10, the departing PM compared himself to Roman statesman Cincinnatus “returning to his plough”. Surely the Classics scholar would have known that Cincinnatus later returned to power as dictator. 

    Clue 3: Rather than disappearing completely from the political stage Boris has remained a passionate defender of Ukraine, and was recently elected chair of the Conservative Friends of Ukraine. 

    Clue 4: His fiercest supporter Nadine Dorries has continued to make the case for Boris, even suggesting he should be on the last leadership ballot – something the ex PM didn’t deny.

    Clue 5: Unlike some of his predecessors, Boris has not resigned as an MP – meaning he is eligible to stand for the leadership.

  • Tory MP throws his support behind Sunak

    Conservative MP James Cartlidge has announced his support for Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership race.

    Taking to Twitter he said: “I’m backing @RishiSunak to be our next PM.

    “The national interest requires a leader with a track record of handling a tough economic situation – just like Rishi did in the pandemic.

    “He can restore stability & bring in talent from across the party to deliver a brighter future.”

  • Tory MP backs Boris

    Tory MP Marco Longhi tells The Sun: “I am backing Boris and as a  democrat it’s important that members have their say. 

    “There is too much at stake.”

  • Rishi Sunak favourite to be next PM

    Rishi Sunak is currently the favourite to be the next PM, according to Betfair.

    Rishi Sunak – 11/10 (Betfair)

    Penny Mordaunt – 7/2

    Ben Wallace – 8/1

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