10 Candidates Will Run For Theresa May's Place as Leader Of the British Conservative Party
Ten candidates will compete for Theresa May's place as leader of the British Conservative Party.
- Michael Gove: Currently serving as May's environment secretary, Gove previously ran for the Conservative leadership back in 2015. He has said he'd consider a no-deal Brexit if necessary, but is open to further delaying the deadline if progress on a deal is being made. While he's in the top-tier of candidates, he's currently facing press scrutiny over his admission of past cocaine use.
- Matt Hancock: He serves as May's health minister and is widely considered a centrist candidate, campaigning for a sensible Brexit. He is not considered one of the favorites in the race, though he's made headlines for swearing in interviews since announcing his candidacy.
- Mark Harper: Harper previously served as David Cameron's chief whip in the House of Commons. One of the least well-known candidates in the race, he is unlikely to make it through the first round of voting.
- Jeremy Hunt: He serves as May's foreign secretary and is widely considered the favorite as a moderate alternative to Boris Johnson. He believes he can renegotiate May's Brexit deal with the EU to stave off a no-deal Brexit.
- Sajid Javid: Currently serving as May's home secretary, Javid has promised that he'll push for Brexit as scheduled on October 31 — even without a deal. He's focused more on domestic issues than other candidates, promising to ease some of the U.K.'s immigration targets.
- Boris Johnson: He is the clear frontrunner in the race, having previously served as May's foreign secretary and the mayor of London. Known as a leading voice for the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, Johnson has promised he'd leave with or without a deal on Oct. 31 — but his bombastic, gaffe-ridden nature can be equally appealing and off-putting to certain sectors of the electorate.
- Andrea Leadsom: Leadsom was leader of the House of Commons under May before resigning in protest of the prime minister's Brexit strategy. While she's widely seen as a leading Brexiteer, she hasn't garnered the support needed to overtake candidates like Johnson and Gove.
- Esther McVey: She previously served as May's work and pensions secretary and is the most extreme on Brexit of all of the candidates in the race, proposing leaving the EU without a deal and not attempting to renegotiate.
- Dominic Raab: He previously served as May's Brexit secretary and is viewed as arch-Brexiteers' best — however small — hope. He's promised to deliver a no-deal Brexit if needed and has proposed proroguing, or essentially discontinuing, a session of Parliament to circumvent lawmakers and get it done.
- Rory Stewart: He serves as May's international development secretary and has become the social media darling of the race, popping up in random locations to debate with ordinary citizens. While a huge longshot, he's gained attention for his colorful life story — having walked thousands of miles across Afghanistan and Pakistan — and his proposal to convene a citizens' assembly to debate Brexit.
What's next: The series of ballots to determine the final two will take place over the next two weeks — before the final leadership campaign kicks off in earnest on June 22. Registered Conservative Party members will then choose their favorite of the final two via a mail-in ballot, and the winner will be announced during the week of July 22, reported axios.com
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