Official list of Tory PM candidates revealed and what they're promising – as they go to battle in crunch vote tomorrow | The Sun

EIGHT Tories are in the running to be Britain's next PM after a mad scramble for support saw some make the cut – and others crash out.

Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat, Kemi Badenoch, Nadhim Zahawi, Jeremy Hunt and Suella Braverman are all officially in the contest after securing at least 20 MP supporters.


They will all do battle in the first round of voting tomorrow where they must get at least 30 colleagues to stay in the race.

Former Health Secretary Sajid Javid pulled out shortly before the announcement after his last-gasp plea for support flopped.

Mr Sunak cruised on to the ballot leaving his rivals for dust after 46 Tory MPs publicly backed him to be the next PM.

The early favourite stretched his lead even further today as Grant Shapps abandoned his bid to support the ex-Chancellor, as did Deputy PM Dominic Raab.

Grassroots darling and Trade Minister Ms Mordaunt was a distant second after hoovering up 24 colleagues.

Hot on her heels was Foreign Secretary Ms Truss who charged into third with the endorsements of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries.

The pair are ultra-Boris loyalists and standard bearers for the party's right-wing Brexiteer faction.

No-mark Tory Rehman Chishti also bowed out with no supporters after launching a bizarre bid for the top job.

On a dramatic day in Westminster:

  • Mr Sunak insisted Dominic Cummings will have nothing to do with his campaign
  • Nadhim Zahawi took a naked swipe at predecessor Mr Sunak over his tax-cutting reluctance
  • Kemi Badenoch launched her leadership bid on an "honesty" platform
  • Tom Tugendhat also opened his campaign with a fuel duty cut pledge
  • Penny Mordaunt bolstered her campaign with David Davis' backing and boasts the second most backers
  • Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock backed Mr Sunak
  • Channel 4 will host the first debate on Friday evening

True-blue candidates have been jockeying to fight frontrunner Mr Sunak in the final round as the champion of Brexit and low taxes.

Tory MPs fear a crowded field of Ms Truss, Suella Braverman, Kemi Badenoch could split the right-wing vote.

Priti Patel's endorsement was also up for grabs after she ditched a last-gasp bid for PM.

The Home Secretary said: “I am grateful for the encouragement and support colleagues and party members have offered me in recent days in suggesting that I enter the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

"I will not be putting my name forward for the ballot of MPs.”

TORY LEADERSHIP RACE – TIMETABLE

HOW does the Tory leadership timetable work?

WEDNESDAY JULY 13

From 1.30-2.30pm Tory MPs vote for their preferred candidate in the first round. Voting will take place in a room in Parliament, although proxy voting is allowed. The results will be announced at 5pm. Anyone with less than 30 votes is eliminated.

THURSDAY JULY 14

The second round of voting takes place, with the last placed candidate eliminated. Voting will continue until the final two candidates are left.

SUMMER RECESS

The top two candidates will tour the country at rounds of hustings. The 100,000 or so Tory party members will then vote on their next leader.

SEPTEMBER 5

The results will be announced and Britain's next Prime Minister will be revealed.

Candidates desperately tried to mop up the dozen or so MPs who had already come out to back her.

Mr Sunak officially launched his campaign by defending his record as Chancellor and his reluctance to slash taxes immediately.

He says rivals are offering "fairytales" with pledges to cut taxes immediately and insists inflation needs to come down first.

Speaking in Westminster in a packed room he said "is is not credible to promise lots more spending and lower taxes".

"We need a return to traditional Conservative economic values and that means honesty and responsibility, not fairytales."

Taxes have become a crucial battleground in the race for Tory leader, with Zahawi, Truss, Mordaunt and Sajid Javid all promising cuts.

As the blue-on-blue snipes persisted, Chancellor Mr Zahawi used a campaign video to take aim at his predecessor with a tax blast.

He said: "I believe cutting taxes isn’t a fairytale, but a critical way to tackle the cost of living crisis."

Launching her race, Tory rising star candidate Kemi Badenoch refused to enter the tax cuts arms race.

IN THE RUNNING TO BE THE NEXT PM

RISHI SUNAK 

Age: 42

Voted: Brexit

Bio: Chancellor from February 2020 to July 2022, Mr Sunak shot to fame handing out billions in furlough cash during lockdown. His resignation from Cabinet last week opened the floodgate of ministerial walkouts that swept out Boris Johnson. A former banker who's married to a billionaire heiress, he landed himself in hot water over his tax affairs earlier this year. 

Key policies: No tax cuts until inflation is under control. Keep defence spending at current levels. A "manifesto for women's rights". 

Key backers: Oliver Dowden, Matt Hancock, Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps

NADHIM ZAHAWI

Age: 55

Voted: Brexit

Bio: Chancellor for less than a week after being promoted from Education Secretary when Sunak quit. Shot to fame as the vaccines minister during the pandemic. As a child he fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq before founding the YouGov polling agency.

Key policies: Slash 2p off income tax by 2024, wipe VAT and green levies off energy bills and reverse the planned corporation tax hike. 

Key backers: Brandon Lewis, Michelle Donelan, Amanda Milling

LIZ TRUSS

Age: 46

Voted: Remain

Bio: Fiercely ambitious sometimes to her detriment, the Insta-friendly Foreign Secretary would appeal to the party rank-and-file as a tax-cutting heir to Thatcher

Key policies: Reverse the National Insurance rise. Cut taxes "from day one" of a Truss government. Reduce the size of the state and grow the private sector.

Key backers: Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nadine Dorries, Therese Coffey

PENNY MORDAUNT

Age: 49

Voted: Brexit

Bio: Elected in 2010, Ms Mordaunt became the first female Defence Secretary in 2019. The former World Bank Governor and current Trade Policy Minister is extremely popular among Tory members. She serves as an army reservist and is published author.

Key policies: Raising basic and middle earners tax thresholds by inflation. Ensure debt as a percentage of GDP falls over time. 50% VAT cut on fuel.

Key backers: Andrea Leadsom, George Freeman

TOM TUGENDHAT

Age: 49

Voted: Remain

Bio: Elected in 2015, Mr Tugendhat is one of the leading moderate contenders in the leadership race. The former soldier has impressed MPs with his performances as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he grilled cabinet members on issues like Ukraine and Afghanistan. Mr Tugendhat’s main disadvantages are having no ministerial experience and having passionately backed remain.

Key pledges: Cut fuel duty by 10p per litre. Reverse the National Insurance hike. Reform old EU regulations to free up £100 billion.

Key backers: Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Damian Green, Jake Berry

KEMI BADENOCH

Age: 42

Voted: Brexit

Bio: Though only elected in 2017, Ms Badenoch has won huge plaudits from MPs and members for being tough on woke issues. As a Levelling Up and Equalities Minister she has impressed colleagues with her problem solving skills and speeches at the Commons dispatch box. She is seen as a big rising star in the party.

Key pledges: No tax cuts until state spending goes down. No cost of living bailouts. Businesses must be less woke and to focus on productivity instead

Key backers: Michael Gove, Neil O’Brien, Alex Burghart 

JEREMY HUNT

Age: 55

Voted: Remain

Bio: Tory grandee who has held three cabinet positions during his 17 year career as an MP. He was the Culture Secretary during the London Olympics during the coalition years before becoming Health Secretary for six years under both David Cameron and Theresa May. He then spent a year as Foreign Secretary until Boris Johnson became PM. Before politics he created a PR firm and an educational travel firm inspired from his time teaching English in Japan during the early 1990s. His wife Lucia Goa, is from China but in a red-faced gaffe said she was Japanese while on an official visit to Beijing.

Key policies: Cut corporation tax to 15 per cent in the Autumn, cut income tax linked to economic growth and pledges to up defence spending to 4 per cent of GDP.

Key backers: Andrew Mitchell, Anthony Magnall, Esther McVey, Peter Bottomley

SUELLA BRAVERMAN

Age: 42

Voted: Brexit

Bio: Attorney General Suella Braverman is hard-line Brexiteer who quit Theresa May’s government in 2018 in protest at her proposed deal to leave the EU. Before that she was Chair of the anti-EU European Research Group, and is “anti-woke.” She sensationally announced she would run to replace Boris Johnson the evening before he resigned – without quitting her position in Cabinet.

Key policies: Cut VAT on energy bills and lower Corporation tax, Would suspend Net-Zero aims by 2050, would leave the European Convention on Human Rights.

Key backers: Steve Baker, Sir Desmond Swayne, Miriam Cates, Richard Drax

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