Who's in the running to be the next Prime Minister?

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Photo credit: Jennifer Savin/Jaime Lee - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jennifer Savin/Jaime Lee - Getty Images

Now that Boris Johnson has announced he'll be stepping down as Prime Minister, we're all wondering who might replace him as the next PM. There are plenty of familiar names in the mix, such as former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak (who was amongst the first to pull the trigger and encourage a deluge of resignations from those in government) and Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs. But, there are also some lesser known figures potentially in the running too...

The cabinet's Attorney General, Suella Braverman, has already made it clear that she's keen to run for leader of the Conservative party and the name Penny Mordaunt has also been causing quite the stir. Sajid Javid, the ex-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is also likely to take a punt, alongside Michael Gove (who Boris sacked just yesterday) and Jeremy Hunt, who lost a great deal of popularity due to the selling off of the NHS and generally upsetting all junior doctors on his watch as Health Secretary.

Here, we've rounded up all of the confirmed frontrunners who could very well become the next Prime Minister...

Penny Mordaunt

Photo credit: Chris Jackson
Photo credit: Chris Jackson

Having had quite the varied career (she's a former magician's assistant, turned Royal Naval Reservist, turned the UK's first female defence secretary... for 85 days), Penny's current position is that of Minister of State for Trade Policy. She voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU and is said to be a trans ally, as per her comments made in the House of Commons last year. Last week, she came in second place on a YouGov poll (conducted between the 6 and 7 of July on 716 Conservative party members) behind Ben Wallace, who has since dropped out of the running.

Rishi Sunak

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

The current bookies favourite, who is very much on the charm offensive (see: his wife - who recently found herself at the centre of a 'CBA to pay my taxes' scandal - giving reporters tea and biscuits last week), Rishi has long been named as a potential successor to Boris Johnson. Up until last week, he held the esteemed position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was one of the first to resign, sparking the domino effect of MPs piling onto Boris Johnson and declaring they could (finally) no longer work for his government, or back him as Tory leader.

Reports have emerged suggesting that Rishi has had his eyes on the top job for quite some time, as his campaign website address (ReadyForRishi.com) was registered over six months ago.

Liz Truss

Photo credit: Anadolu Agency - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anadolu Agency - Getty Images

Currently in third place according to betting odds, Liz is the Foreign Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality. Her previous bloopers include being mocked for delivering an impassioned speech about cheese at a 2015 Tory conference and having an affair with a married MP in 2009. She's been a vocal supporter of Ukraine and has been dubbed the new 'Iron Lady' by some political commentators. Liz is using the catchy hashtag 'LizForLeader' and promising to cut taxes should she be elected (however given she's a... politician, we'll be taking any and all promises with a pinch of salt, from all candidates).

Kemi Badenoch

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

The Conservative MP for Saffron Walden (and former 'Levelling Up' minister) has already received the backing from big political names like Michael Gove and is also promising tax cuts. She previously worked as an engineer and in banking, and has a history of consistently voting against measures that would be effective for climate change issues. Recent leaked audio, obtained by Vice, shows her mocking LGBTQ+ rights and asking "What are transsexuals [an outdated and potentially offensive term to refer to trans men and women] looking for?" which is obviously deeply uncool, especially as someone who previously held the role of fighting for equality within the cabinet.

Tom Tugendhat

Photo credit: TOLGA AKMEN - Getty Images
Photo credit: TOLGA AKMEN - Getty Images

A slightly less familiar name to the masses is Tom Tugendhat, who has been endorsed by Damian Green (who was basically Deputy PM under Theresa May) as a real contender. An ex-military man who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, he's been Chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee since January 2020. He's currently in fourth place on the bookies charts and has pledged to cut National Insurance and fuel duty if elected.

Suella Braverman

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Having previously spoken about her parents who emigrated to the UK from Kenya and Mauritius respectively in the 1960s, Suella said: "It was Britain that gave them hope, security and opportunity and this country has afforded me incredible opportunities in education and my career, and I owe a debt of gratitude to this country." Recently, she said she has "significant reservations" about the UK's "relationship with the European Court of Human Rights", after the ECHR granted last-minute interim measures for three people due to be deported to Rwanda.

Jeremy Hunt

Photo credit: Leon Neal - Getty Images
Photo credit: Leon Neal - Getty Images


In eighth place on the YouGov Tory snap poll it's former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, best known for privatising chunks of the NHS and being decidedly unpopular amongst junior doctors and nurses. Former NHS doctor, Adam Kay, author of bestselling book This Is Going To Hurt is especially vocal about his dislike of Jeremy. His voting history shows he's consistently in favour of university fees and is keen on slashing benefits, and in 2019 he came runner-up to Boris Johnson in the leadership contest.

Nadhim Zahawi

Photo credit: DANIEL LEAL - Getty Images
Photo credit: DANIEL LEAL - Getty Images

It's been quite the busy month for Nadhim – after having replaced Rishi Sunak as Chancellor, he quickly put his name in the running for future PM (but at this stage it's not looking likely). He recently tweeted complaining about a 'smear campaign' that he claims has been launched against him, in which some are questioning whether or not he's paid his taxes in full (it's rumoured he has a personal fortune of £100 million, after setting up the YouGov polling system). In response, he's promised to share his annual tax returns if voted in as Prime Minister.

Grant Shapps

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

The Transport Secretary previously worked as co-chairman of the Conservative Party for three years (between 2012 and 2015), and as International Development Minister but quit the role after being accused of failing to act on bullying allegations. He kicked off his bid for Tory party leader by saying: "We must map a clear path to lower taxes, not just expressing good intentions".

Sajid Javid

Photo credit: JUSTIN TALLIS - Getty Images
Photo credit: JUSTIN TALLIS - Getty Images


Another early trigger-puller in Boris' downfall, Sajid was Secretary of State for Health and Social Care up until Tuesday afternoon. He's not doing too well in the bookies polls, so things aren't looking great for him based on that - but there's still plenty of time for things to change, as all the hopefuls ramp up their campaigns for glory.

To find out more about the voting history of any candidates in the running, check out TheyWorkForYou - a site that easily pulls up each MP's votes on key issues

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