Eleven Conservatives now bidding to be next prime minister as MPs on 1922 Committee set to decide rules for leadership contest

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has officially joined the race for the Tory leadership, with Home Secretary Priti Patel potentially set to announce her candidacy.

A surprise entry has also been made by Foreign Office minister Rehman Chishti, meaning 11 Conservatives are now fighting to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

Writing in the Telegraph newspaper, Ms Truss pledged to "start cutting taxes from day one" with a commitment to reverse April's National Insurance rise.

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Releasing a video laying out her pitch to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister on Monday morning, the foreign secretary emphasised her desire for low taxes, a "firm grip on spending", and driving growth in the economy.

Using the tagline "Trusted to Deliver", Ms Truss said she wants to give people "the opportunity to achieve anything they to achieve" regardless of their background.

Meanwhile, a supporter of Home Secretary Priti Patel said there was a "strong chance" she would put herself forward as well.

Another ally said Ms Patel was still considering her position but added that she had more support than some of the candidates who had already publicly declared.

Launching his campaign with a video on Facebook, Mr Chishti said: "For me, it's important to ensure everyone who works hard, who's determined, who perseveres, that they have a government that is on their side, and that means lower taxes, small state, big society."

On Monday, party elders on the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs will decide the rules under which the leadership contest will be held.

With so many people standing, there is pressure for the process to be sped up to ensure only MPs with sizeable levels of support can get onto the ballot paper.

It's hoped MPs will whittle down the candidates to the last two in the coming days before party members make the final choice over the summer.

This would allow the new prime minister to be in place by the time parliament returns in September.

Currently, the former chancellor Rishi Sunak has the highest number of backers, with trade minister Penny Mordaunt also proving popular.

Communities minister and "next generation" candidate Kemi Badenoch had a boost to her campaign after winning the backing of former cabinet minister Michael Gove.

Chair of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, Jake Berry, said he would be voting for Tom Tugendhat.

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Ms Truss had been widely expected to run for the top job and pointed to recent controversial Brexit legislation as one of her key achievements.

"I am putting myself forward because I can lead, deliver and make the tough decisions," said the foreign secretary in her Telegraph article.

She is one of several contenders promising big tax cuts if elected.

Ms Truss has already received the backing of Kwasi Kwarteng, with the business secretary telling The Sun that the UK would enjoy a new era of tax cuts and business investment under her leadership.

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On Saturday, former health secretary Sajid Javid pledged to reverse the National Insurance rise and cut corporation tax if he makes it to Downing Street.

There's also been scrutiny of the business backgrounds of some candidates with Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi claiming he had been subject to "smears" over newspaper claims relating to his tax affairs.

Speaking to Kay Burley, the former businessman pledged to publish his accounts annually if elected Tory leader.

Another leadership hopeful, Grant Shapps, also published a campaign video to deliver a message to Tory MPs nervous about their electoral prospects, telling them: "I can help you win your seat."

"My case for leadership is simple: I can plan, I can deliver, I can communicate, I can campaign, I can help you win your seat," he said.

Meanwhile, George Eustice told Sky News more about the leadership election process on Monday.

The environment secretary said it is expected that there will be "just two candidates by the end of next week".

"And those two candidates will go out on a series of hustings around the country during August, possibly early September as well," he continued.

"I would imagine at some time in the middle of September, perhaps we'll have a new leader in place."

Bob Blackman, joint-executive secretary of the 1922 Committee, said the Conservative Party leadership candidates will be whittled down to a final two by next Thursday and that the threshold for support to enter the race is likely to be 20.

"We've got to slim down the list of candidates pretty quickly down to two - and the one thing that we're committed to do is to achieve getting to two candidates by Thursday 21 July," he told Sky News.

"That means that we'll hold a succession of ballots over the next few days in order to get to that position."

Ballots are likely to be held this Wednesday and Thursday and next Tuesday and Wednesday, he said.

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