Nominations for new Conservative party leader open tomorrow

A new British prime minister and Conservative leader should be in place by September 2 at the latest, the party’s 1922 Committee executive has recommended. Nominations open tomorrow and close on Thursday.

Nominations for new Conservative party leader open tomorrow

At an emergency meeting in Westminster, it agreed unanimously that the contest should be run under the same rules as 2005, which will see MPs pick two candidates to put to the wider membership.

The speedy process would appear to favour established candidates. The method has to be signed off by the party board today and a full meeting of the backbench committee tomorrow.

Pro-Brexit Boris Johnson and home secretary Theresa May, who backed Remain, are leading a pack of at least 10 senior figures tipped to be contenders in the battle to succeed David Cameron.

Mr Cameron, announcing his departure in the immediate wake of his defeat in the EU referendum, had said he wanted his successor in place by the time of the Conservative Party conference, which starts on October 2.

However, 1922 chairman Graham Brady indicated the process could be completed significantly more quickly.

Under the proposed timetable, nominations would open as backbenchers rubber stamp it at their regular Wednesday evening gathering and close at noon the following day.

“We then recommend that the process of electing a new leader of the Conservative Party should commence next week — with the beginning of any necessary parliamentary ballots — and conclude no later than Friday September 2, although an earlier conclusion may be possible,” said Mr Brady.

Mr Johnson summoned friendly Tory MPs to his Oxfordshire home on Sunday in likely a preparation for a run at the party’s leadership, as the home secretary was reportedly sounding out colleagues.

Mrs May is thought to be the main contender to take on the former London mayor and a plot dubbed ABB (Anyone But Boris) has reportedly begun, organised by ministers and aides loyal to Mr Cameron.

Other challengers could also include pro-Remain MPs: business secretary Sajid Javid; education secretary Nicky Morgan, work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb, and energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd.

Despite once saying the health secretary brief was his “last big job in politics”, Jeremy Hunt is also reported to be among those considering a shot at the leadership.

Prominent Brexit campaigner Andrea Leadsom is expected to stand, according to reports.

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