Boris Johnson is the frontrunner to replace Theresa May, and the main focus is now on who will challenge him when the candidates are reduced to the final two next week. The Conservative Party is aiming to have a new party leader in place before the end of July, while Mrs May will continue as Prime Minister until then. Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt, who are seen as two of the top contenders rivalling Mr Johnson for the job, both launch their leadership campaigns today.
“We need a leader who is ready to lead from day one.
“A leader ready to be prime minister from day one.
“A leader ready to face the scrutiny of the studio lights.”
Mr Gove will also say he can deliver Brexit and “stop Jeremy Corbyn ever getting the keys to Downing Street”.
In his own campaign launch, Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt will put forward his credentials as an “experienced, serious” figure who can guide the country through the Brexit crisis.
He will say: “We are facing a constitutional crisis. Our new Prime Minister will preside over a hung Parliament.
“This extremely serious moment calls for an experienced, serious leader. We need the art of tough negotiation, not the art of empty rhetoric.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab will also officially begin their leadership campaigns.
Mr Hancock will he can provide the UK with the “fresh start” it needs, setting out his plan to make the next decade following Brexit “the soaring 20s”.
Mr Raab, who quit his role last November in opposition to Mrs May’s Brexit deal, will launch a series of proposals aimed at developing clean energy and protecting the environment.
This will include redirecting £500million a year from the aid budget to create an international wildlife fund to save endangered species and habitats.
Mr Raab will say: “We’ve got to look to the future.
“We’ve got to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”