Tories seize their moment to launch leadership bids as Kemi Badenoch becomes the latest to join the race

links patrocinados

A series of little-known MPs have put their names forward in the race to replace Boris Johnson in what the PM described as ‘the best job in the world’.

links patrocinados

While the big hitters have held off from launching their campaigns – except for Rishi Sunak, who announced he was running yesterday – those with an outside chance have thrown their hats in the ring.

Backbenchers John Baron, Jake Berry, Bill Wiggin and Rehman Chishti have said they are considering a bid despite being virtually unknown outside Westminster.

Attorney General Suella Braverman and foreign affairs committee chairman Tom Tugendhat have announced that they will stand, but are languishing in the polls.

Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is the latest name to join the already bloated list of wannabe leaders.

North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin has also been canvassing support among Tory MPs for a potential leadership bid

North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin has also been canvassing support among Tory MPs for a potential leadership bid

North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin has also been canvassing support among Tory MPs for a potential leadership bid

links patrocinados

Many senior figures are expected to launch their campaigns in the next few days – including Liz Truss, Sajid Javid, Ben Wallace and Nadhim Zahawi. Mr Baron, the MP for Basildon and Billericay, said he was considering a tilt for the top – and insisted there is a ‘wealth of talent’ on the backbenches.

“Backbenchers, I think, have a lot to offer and have made some very good calls for the party,” he told the BBC.

Mr. Wiggin, the MP for North Herefordshire, has reportedly emailed colleagues asking for nominations – and argued for a return to small state, low-tax Conservatism. Both men have been in Parliament for more than 20 years.

And Mr Chishti, former Tory vice chairman, told PoliticsHome that the country needs a leader ‘who best reflects modern Britain’. The MP for Gillingham and Rainham said: ‘In the coming days I will be reflecting on how best I can serve our country with my own experience and background having been a parliamentarian for over 12 years. Our country and party need new ideas and fresh leadership.’

But some backbenchers mocked their colleagues. Workington MP Mark Jenkinson parodied their bids with: ‘I have sought counsel from those I can trust to blow smoke up my a**e. That, when weighed against my own inflated sense of self-importance, leads me to conclude that I should throw my hat into the ring and stand for election as Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.’

Promises to slash taxes and help struggling families are set to dominate the leadership race – and prospective candidates have already started setting out their stalls.

Chancellor Mr Zahawi has said he ‘instinctively’ wants taxpayers to keep more of their money, and has vowed to wage war on government waste. Foreign Secretary Miss Truss, who has returned from Indonesia to launch her bid, has frequently brandished her low-tax credentials.

Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is said to be the latest to throw her hat into the ring, with a plan for a smaller state and a government 'focused on the essentials'

Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is said to be the latest to throw her hat into the ring, with a plan for a smaller state and a government 'focused on the essentials'

Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is said to be the latest to throw her hat into the ring, with a plan for a smaller state and a government ‘focused on the essentials’

Meanwhile former minister Steve Baker has backed Attorney General Suella Braverman’s campaign – despite previously saying he was seriously considering putting himself forward for the top job.

Mr Baker said that Tory blog ConservativeHome ‘consistently put me in their top 10 for next prime minister, they sometimes put me in their top five’, but said it would be ‘very difficult’ to persuade colleagues to back him for the party-wide ballot without Cabinet experience.

On Friday evening, he tweeted: ‘I considered standing for the leadership. My priorities were delivering against our manifesto with our mandate, cutting taxes and seeing through Brexit.

‘Happily I no longer need to stand. Suella Braverman will deliver these priorities and more.’

In an interview with The Telegraph, Braverman said: ‘There’s no better organizer in Westminster, and I’m so glad it’s my campaign that has got [Baker]. He’ll make a vital contribution.’

She added: ‘I’m delighted to receive the backing of Steve Baker. We need clarity of purpose and a clear vision to steer our country through the choppy waters ahead.

Former minister Steve Baker has backed Attorney General Suella Braverman (pictured), who stated she was 'delighted' to have received his support

Former minister Steve Baker has backed Attorney General Suella Braverman (pictured), who stated she was 'delighted' to have received his support

Former minister Steve Baker has backed Attorney General Suella Braverman (pictured), who stated she was ‘delighted’ to have received his support

‘Finish Brexit, deliver tax cuts and solve our energy crisis. That’s the great task facing the new leadership.’

Earlier, Mr. Sunak announced his bid for leader on Twitter, saying: ‘Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country.’

His move came as allies of former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was runner-up to Mr Johnson in 2019, said he was ‘virtually certain’ to stand again this time.

Mr. Sunak has the backing of Commons Leader Mark Spencer, former Tory Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden, and ex-minister Liam Fox.

But Mr. Wallace, a former Army officer, is expected to attract support from across the Conservative parliamentary party. He remained loyal to his close friend Mr. Johnson and did not resign from the Cabinet.

Supporters speak of his strong sense of duty and service. He is also considered a ‘safe pair of hands’ after leading the UK’s military effort in Ukraine – and before that the mission to rescue UK nationals and entitled persons from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

Rishi Sunak announced his bid for leader on Twitter, saying: 'Let's restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country'

Rishi Sunak announced his bid for leader on Twitter, saying: 'Let's restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country'

Rishi Sunak announced his bid for leader on Twitter, saying: ‘Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country’

The YouGov poll earlier this week asked Conservative Party members to name their preferred candidate. Mr. Wallace won 13 percent of the votes, ahead of Miss Mordaunt on 12 percent, Mr. Sunak on 10 percent and Miss Truss on 8 percent.

Mr. Hunt trailed in joint eighth on just 5 percent, the same as the new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.

Earlier this year, the Defense Secretary topped a ‘satisfaction rating’ poll for government ministers, with 79.7 percent of respondents saying he was doing a good job. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss polled second on 66.7 percent.

Mr. Wallace, MP for Wyre and Preston North, has repeatedly sought to present himself as a reluctant leadership candidate. But he has never ruled himself out of running.

Last night, a supporter said: ‘He’s decent, straight-talking and has a real sense of duty and service… He’s got a good sense of humor too, even when things go wrong.

But [running for leader] remains an if. Right now he is discussing it with his family and those he loves.’

So, will Ben Wallace be next to join the fray?

Ben Wallace has a leadership campaign team ready to go – but was still holding fire last night.

The Defense Secretary is a favorite with some bookies to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader and has topped a YouGov poll of potential runners.

But last night supporters said he was still discussing with his family whether to enter the contest.

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, who is understood to be managing Mr Wallace’s campaign, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘One of the things I like most about Ben is that he has spent the last 48 hours thinking really hard about whether he wants to do it. It’s so typically Ben that he understands it is a massive responsibility and wants to make sure he is ready for it, and if he is, he will make a great prime minister.’

Former Scottish secretary David Mundell, who is also said to be involved in the leadership campaign, said he would support father-of-three Mr. Wallace, 52, if he stood. “His decency and integrity are not in question,” he added.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is a favorite with some bookies to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader and has topped a YouGov poll of potential runners

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is a favorite with some bookies to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader and has topped a YouGov poll of potential runners

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is a favorite with some bookies to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader and has topped a YouGov poll of potential runners

‘We’ve had too much drama recently and he is ideally placed to bring in a period of calm, competent leadership.’

Mr. Wallace held off announcing his candidacy even after former chancellor Rishi Sunak launched his campaign yesterday.

Several other likely candidates, including Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt, are also yet to declare.

Mr. Wallace, a former Army officer, is expected to attract support from across the Conservative parliamentary party. He remained loyal to his close friend Mr. Johnson and did not resign from the Cabinet. Supporters speak of his strong sense of duty and service. He is also considered a ‘safe pair of hands’ after leading the UK’s military effort in Ukraine – and before that the mission to rescue UK nationals and entitled persons from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

The YouGov poll earlier this week asked Conservative Party members to name their preferred candidate. Mr. Wallace won 13 percent of the votes, ahead of Miss Mordaunt on 12 percent, Mr. Sunak on 10 percent and Miss Truss on 8 percent.

Mr. Hunt trailed in joint eighth on just 5 percent, the same as the new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.

Earlier this year, the Defense Secretary topped a ‘satisfaction rating’ poll for government ministers, with 79.7 percent of respondents saying he was doing a good job. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss polled second on 66.7 percent.

Mr. Wallace, MP for Wyre and Preston North, has repeatedly sought to present himself as a reluctant leadership candidate. But he has never ruled himself out of running.

Last night, a supporter said: ‘He’s decent, straight-talking and has a real sense of duty and service… He’s got a good sense of humor too, even when things go wrong.

But [running for leader] remains an if. Right now he is discussing it with his family and those he loves.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.