10 Candidates Will Run For Theresa May's Place as Leader Of the British Conservative Party
Ten candidates will compete for Theresa May's place as leader of the British Conservative Party.
Michael Gove: Currently serving as May's environment secretary, Gove previously ran for the Conservative leadership back in 2015. He has said he'd consider a no-deal Brexit if necessary, but is open to further delaying the deadline if progress on a deal is being made. While he's in the top-tier of candidates, he's currently facing press scrutiny over his admission of past cocaine use.
Matt Hancock: He serves as May's health minister and is widely considered a centrist candidate, campaigning for a sensible Brexit. He is not considered one of the favorites in the race, though he's made headlines for swearing in interviews since announcing his candidacy.
Mark Harper: Harper previously served as David Cameron's chief whip in the House of Commons. One of the least well-known candidates in the race, he is unlikely to make it through the first round of voting.
Jeremy Hunt: He serves as May's foreign secretary and is widely considered the favorite as a moderate alternative to Boris Johnson. He believes he can renegotiate May's Brexit deal with the EU to stave off a no-deal Brexit.
Sajid Javid: Currently serving as May's home secretary, Javid has promised that he'll push for Brexit as scheduled on October 31 — even without a deal. He's focused more on domestic issues than other candidates, promising to ease some of the U.K.'s immigration targets.
Boris Johnson: He is the clear frontrunner in the race, having previously served as May's foreign secretary and the mayor of London. Known as a leading voice for the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, Johnson has promised he'd leave with or without a deal on Oct. 31 — but his bombastic, gaffe-ridden nature can be equally appealing and off-putting to certain sectors of the electorate.
Andrea Leadsom: Leadsom was leader of the House of Commons under May before resigning in protest of the prime minister's Brexit strategy. While she's widely seen as a leading Brexiteer, she hasn't garnered the support needed to overtake candidates like Johnson and Gove.
Esther McVey: She previously served as May's work and pensions secretary and is the most extreme on Brexit of all of the candidates in the race, proposing leaving the EU without a deal and not attempting to renegotiate.
Dominic Raab: He previously served as May's Brexit secretary and is viewed as arch-Brexiteers' best — however small — hope. He's promised to deliver a no-deal Brexit if needed and has proposed proroguing, or essentially discontinuing, a session of Parliament to circumvent lawmakers and get it done.
Rory Stewart: He serves as May's international development secretary and has become the social media darling of the race, popping up in random locations to debate with ordinary citizens. While a huge longshot, he's gained attention for his colorful life story — having walked thousands of miles across Afghanistan and Pakistan — and his proposal to convene a citizens' assembly to debate Brexit.
What's next: The series of ballots to determine the final two will take place over the next two weeks — before the final leadership campaign kicks off in earnest on June 22. Registered Conservative Party members will then choose their favorite of the final two via a mail-in ballot, and the winner will be announced during the week of July 22.