London politics latest LIVE: Nadhim Zahawi and Grant Shapps latest to announce leadership bids

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·21-min read
London politics latest LIVE: Nadhim Zahawi and Grant Shapps latest to announce leadership bids
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Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has launched his bid to replace Boris Johnson in Downing Street and promised to ‘steady the ship’ as PM

Launching his campaign, he said he wanted to “stabilise the economy”.

He said: “Thanks to Brexit, we are now a free nation. Let’s not just talk about the opportunities that follow, let’s take them.

“If a young boy, who came here aged 11 without a word of English, can serve at the highest levels of Her Majesty’s Government and run to be the next prime minister, anything is possible.”

He entered a crowded field with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps among those announcing their candidacy.

Shapps said he was ruling out a general election and would produce an emergency budget cutting personal tax for the most vulnerable and giving state support to firms with high levels of energy consumption.

It comes as Ben Wallace has pulled out of the race to become PM.

In a statement released on Twitter, the Defence Secretary said he discussed a potential bid with his family but will instead, focus on his current job.

Rishi Sunak, who resigned as Chancellor, announced his leadership bid on Friday afternoon, claiming he intends to “restore trust” following the resignation of Mr Johnson, adding: “I want to lead this country in the right direction.”

He has been endorsed by former party chair, Oliver Dowden and Commons leader, Mark Spencer.

Chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat has announced a leadership bid, while former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch laid out her bid in The Times. Attorney general, Suella Braverman has also thrown her hat in the ring to be Prime Minister.

On Monday, elections will take place to the executive of the backbench 1922 Committee which will then set out the rules and timetable for the leadership contest.

‘Thinning’ of candidates should happen quickly, Tory MP says

08:14 , Miriam Burrell

Tory MP and committee chairman Sir Charles Walker said those running for the Tory leadership should not “knock lumps out of each other”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I think we’ve got to get through the thinning process very, very quickly.

“I hope some of the candidates who know they have no hope of leading our party and becoming prime minister actually decide to drop out for the greater good.

“They don’t need to put themselves in the shop window and sort of stretch out the process any longer than it needs to be stretched out.”

Sir Charles Walker (PA Archive)
Sir Charles Walker (PA Archive)

Rehman Chishti considering running for PM

08:23 , Miriam Burrell

Tory MP Rehman Chishti has confirmed he is “actively considering” running for leader.

The newly-appointed Foreign Office minister retweeted quotes attributed to him by the BBC, stating: “We need leaders who best reflect modern Britain and can provide solutions to the challenges our nation is facing now.”

Rishi Sunak in ‘unfortunate bind’ with tax policy

08:49 , Miriam Burrell

Former minister Steve Baker, who is backing Attorney General Suella Braverman for Tory leader, claimed Rishi Sunak is in an “unfortunate bind” as he has got to “double down” on his tax position.

The MP for Wycombe told BBC Breakfast: “The problem that we’ve got with Rishi is that he’s in a bind that he’s got to double down on the policy that he has had.

“I believe that taxes in this country are too high at their current levels, so high that they’ll be doing more harm than good at these levels.

“Now, unfortunately, because Rishi’s record is of saying he wants low taxes, but then putting them up, he’s now got to double down on that record during this campaign. And that leaves him in a very unfortunate bind.”

Steve Baker (PA Wire)
Steve Baker (PA Wire)

Prime candidates Sunak and Hunt, Lord Hayward says

09:32 , Miriam Burrell

Tory Peer Lord Hayward said the prime candidates for prime minister will be Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt.

He told Sky News it has been “striking” to see who has come out in support of Sunak, who announced his leadership bid on Friday afternoon.

“He’s got on side a number of respected big hitters and they will clearly give him strong backing, but not only in terms of status but organisation of the party.”

Jeremy Hunt has not announced a bid for the leadership, but allies of the former foreign secretary, who was runner-up to Boris Johnson in 2019, said he was “virtually certain” to stand again this time.

Lord Hayward said Sajid Javid will influence where the vote splits “very heavily”.

In case you missed it

10:03 , Miriam Burrell

Rishi Sunak, who resigned as Chancellor, has posted a slick campaign video online as he announced his leadership bid.

The video posted to Twitter on Friday afternoon, delves into his family history and emigration to Britain.

In case you missed it, watch below:

Tom Tugendhat pitches to Scottish Tory members

10:18 , Miriam Burrell

Tory leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat has made his first pitch to Scottish Tory members.

Mr Tugendhat is thought to have support among Scottish Tory MSPs, with chief whip Stephen Kerr and North East representative Douglas Lumsden having publicly declared their desire to see him take over.

Writing in the Times on Saturday, Mr Tugendhat said the party is the only one that voters can “trust to unequivocally stand up for the union and Scotland’s role within it”.

“If we are to defeat Labour and the SNP-Green coalition, our party will need a fresh start under serious and tested leadership.

“A clean slate is an opportunity to restore this integrity to our politics.”

Andrea Jenkyns should ‘explain’ rude gesture

10:41 , Miriam Burrell

Commons Leader Mark Spencer said Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns needs to “justify” a rude gesture she directed to a crowd outside Downing Street.

Ms Jenkyns appeared to make a rude sign with her hand as she walked through the black gates ahead of Boris Johnson’s resignation speech.

Mr Spencer told BBC Breakfast: ““I mean, Andrea will have to… justify that for herself. But I do understand emotions were running pretty high and they were pretty raw on that day. But I don’t think that was the right thing to do at all.”

Read more here.

Andrea Jenkyns (PA Archive)
Andrea Jenkyns (PA Archive)

A recap

11:10 , Miriam Burrell

Here are the four candidates who have already announced their bid for leadership:

Former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak

Attorney general, Suella Braverman

Chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat

Former equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch

Read more here.

Committee could settle on two names by July 20

11:21 , Bill Mcloughlin

The 1922 Committee will look to whittle down the list of candidates to two names by July 20, one of its members said on Saturday.

Conservative lawmakers will hold a series of votes to reduce the field to two final candidates, who will then face a postal ballot of the wider Tory membership.

Treasurer 1922 Committee Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told Times Radio: “I think that we will be able to frame a process to actually come up with two names by the time parliament goes down on the 20th of July.

“We should have an answer by the time of the party conference in October and maybe before that.”

The committee will set out the exact rules and timetable for the contest next week.

Suella Braverman: ‘Get rid of woke rubbish’

12:05 , Miriam Burrell

Candidate Suella Braverman has listed what she believes should be first priorities for the next prime minister.

Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, she mentioned tax cuts, cutting government spending and solving the migrant crisis among other issues.

She also said: “We need to get rid of all this woke rubbish and actually get back to a country where describing a man a woman in terms of biology does not mean you’re going to lose your job.”

Watch here:

Jake Berry pulls out of race

12:32 , Bill Mcloughlin

Northern Research Grou chair, Jake Berry has officially pulled out of the race to become the next Tory leader.

He said: “Whilst flattered to be asked by colleagues to throw my hat into the ring I believe my job and the role of the NRG during the leadership election will be to ensure our core pledge to level up, is not ignored.”

Ben Wallace out of race

13:09 , Miriam Burrell

Ben Wallace will not be running for the role of prime minister.

He said it “has not been an easy choice to make”.

In a twet posted on Saturday, the Defence Secretary wrote: “After careful consideration and discussing with colleagues and family, I have taken the decision not to enter the contest for leadership of the Conservative Party. I am very grateful to all my parliamentary colleagues and wider members who have pledged support.”

Andrea Jenkyns: ‘I should have shown more composure'

13:29 , Miriam Burrell

Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns, who made a rude gesture at a crowd outside Downing Street on the day Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister, has explained why she did it.

She said the mob were “insulting MPs” and she has received “huge amounts of abuse” over the years.

Read her full statement:

Rishi Sunak ‘overwhelmed’ by support

14:22 , Miriam Burrell

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been “overwhelmed” by support he has received since announcing his bid for leadership.

On Saturday he said: “ I’ve been truly overwhelmed by the support and so grateful for the thousands of people who have signed up to join the campaign. Together we will restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country.”

Who’s supporting who?

15:05 , Miriam Burrell

Four candidates have so far announced campaigns to run for prime minister - Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman, Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat.

Other Tory MPs have announced which candidates they will be throwing support behind. We take a look at who’s backing who.

Rishi Sunak

Those publicly backing Mr Sunak include Commons Leader Mark Spencer, former Tory Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden, former chief whip Mark Harper, ex-ministers Liam Fox and Andrew Murrison, and MPs Sir Bob Neill, Paul Maynard and Louie French.

Kemi Badenoch

Ms Badenoch announced her campaign in The Times, with a plan for a smaller state and a government “focused on the essentials”.

She is backed by Lee Rowley, the MP for North East Derbyshire, and Tom Hunt, the MP for Ipswich.

Former minister Steve Baker has thrown his support behind Ms Braverman’s bid, despite previously saying he was seriously considering putting himself forward for the top job.

Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch (PA Media)
Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch (PA Media)

Who’s supporting who?

15:16 , Miriam Burrell

Suella Braverman

Steve Baker is backing Ms Braverman, after deciding he no longer will stand in the race.

Tom Tugendhat

Mr Tugendhat is thought to have support among Scottish Tory MSPs, with chief whip Stephen Kerr and North East representative Douglas Lumsden having publicly declared their desire to see the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee chairman take over.

Other potential contenders have also received endorsements from Tory ranks, despite not yet launching a bid of their own.

MPs Chloe Smith, Julian Knight and Jackie-Doyle Price have backed Ms Truss, while Tory peer and minister Lord Goldsmith has said Mr Zahawi “stands apart from most rivals”.

Gosport MP Dame Caroline Dinenage has declared her support for Ms Mordaunt, while former ministers Chris Philp and Rachel Maclean have said Mr Javid would be their choice for PM.

Boris Johnson won’t run again for PM

16:02 , Miriam Burrell

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said reports that he is planning to stand down as Prime Minister on Monday in order to run again for Tory leader are completely untrue.

Mr Johnson said he intends to remain in office until his successor is elected.

Speaking in Downing Street, he said: “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister.

“And I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week.

“And I’ve today appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place.”

Support continues for Rishi Sunak

16:07 , Miriam Burrell

Support for Rishi Sunak as the next Tory leader continues to grow throughout Saturday.

The latest MPs to endorse the former chancellor include former technology minister Chris Philip and MP for Hitchin and Harpenden Bim Afolami.

In case you missed it

16:15 , Miriam Burrell

Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch laid out her bid for leadership in The Times on Saturday.

Here is why she is running for the top job:

Ben Wallace visits Ukrainian troops

16:31 , Miriam Burrell

Days before Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced he won’t be running in the leadership contest, he visited Ukrainian troops training in England.

The first cohort in the UK-led military programme met with Mr Wallace on Thursday as they started their training.

Read more here.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace during a visit to a military base (Louis Wood/The Sun/PA Wire)
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace during a visit to a military base (Louis Wood/The Sun/PA Wire)

Number 10 says reports Boris will stand down as PM on Monday in order to run for Tory leader are untrue

16:39 , Robert Dex

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said reports he is planning to stand down as Prime Minister on Monday in order to run again for Tory leader are completely untrue.

The story was first published online by the PM’s ex-girlfriend Petronella Wyatt who said she had been told by “a source at number 10” though several journalists pointed out the Conservative Party rulebook would not allow him to stand again.

Mr Johnson resigned as leader of the Conservative Party on Thursday, but said he intends to remain in office until his successor is elected.

Speaking in Downing Street, he said: “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister.

“And I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week.

“And I’ve today appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place.”

Tory leadership contender say trust in the party is ‘collapsing'

16:53 , Robert Dex

Tory leadership contender Tom Tugendhat said the party needed “a clean start”.

The back-bencher said “trust” in the party was “collapsing”.

Grant Shapps launches leadership bid

17:11 , Robert Dex

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has launched a Conservative Party leadership bid saying he will end “tactical government by an often distracted centre”.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary comes out for Nadhim Zahawi

17:21 , Robert Dex

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis tweeted his support for Nadhim Zahawi, saying he is “the most passionate advocate for opportunity for all”.

Grant Shapps launches leadership bid promising taxcuts and help for business with energy bills

17:23 , Robert Dex

Grant Shapps launched his leadership bid by telling the Sunday Times he was ruling out a general election, and saying he would produce an emergency budget cutting personal tax for the most vulnerable and giving state support to firms with high levels of energy consumption.

He said: “I have not spent the last few turbulent years plotting or briefing against the Prime Minister. I have not been mobilising a leadership campaign behind his back. I tell you this: for all his flaws – and who is not flawed? – I like Boris Johnson. I have never, for a moment, doubted his love of this country.”

Mr Shapps added: “It is easy to criticise Boris after keeping one’s head down for years while being happy to benefit from his patronage. I am glad that I did not do that.

“Even as the skies darkened over his premiership, often because of errors committed by him, I hoped he could pull it back. Because in losing him, we would lose a man who makes a unique connection with people.”

Party grandee mocks Grant Shapps’ bid for PM

17:24 , Robert Dex

Grant Shapps’ bid for the top job was laughed off by one Conservative Party grandee.

Former MP - and grandson of Winston Churchill - Nicholas Soames said “Grant Shapps ? Shurley shome mishtake”.

Liz Truss expected to run on a platform of tax cuts

17:35 , Robert Dex

The Mail on Sunday is reporting Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will stand for leader and pledge to reverse Rishi Sunak’s National Insurance rise.

They also reported she planned to cut corporation tax and pledged to address the cost of living.

Mr Sunak, a former chancellor, has gathered early momentum after launching his campaign on Friday with a slick campaign video pledging to ‘restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country’.

Party deputy chairman resigns to support Kemi Badenoch

17:40 , Robert Dex

Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, said he had resigned as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party in order to “be free to support Kemi Badenoch to be our next PM”.

In a series of posts on Twitter, he added: “Determined, honest, straight-talking – Kemi Badenoch presents a real opportunity for change with a new style of politics that focuses on people not big Government.

“As a campaigner, focused on getting colleagues re-elected I know how the Westminster bubble is so detached from voters – Kemi Badenoch will smash through this disconnect and deliver on what ordinary people want. This is how we renew as Party and win the next General Election.”

18:02 , Robert Dex

Michelle Donelan, who resigned from the role of education secretary on Thursday – less than 36 hours after accepting it, said she was backing Nadhim Zahawi to be the next Tory leader.

In a tweet, she said: “I’ve worked with Nadhim Zahawi in the Department for Education, and around the cabinet table over the last 10 months. I’m backing him to be our next prime minister because he gets things done and delivers just like he did as Vaccines Minister.”

Nadhim Zahawi runs for PM promising lower taxes

18:03 , Robert Dex

Newly-appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi launched his campaign to become Tory leader, pledging to lower taxes for individuals, families and business, boost defence spending, and continue with education reforms he started in his previous role.

Nadhim Zahawi promises to ‘steady the ship’ as PM

18:05 , Robert Dex

Launching his campaign, Nadhim Zahawi said he wanted to “steady the ship and to stabilise the economy”.

He said: “Thanks to Brexit, we are now a free nation. Let’s not just talk about the opportunities that follow, let’s take them.

“If a young boy, who came here aged 11 without a word of English, can serve at the highest levels of Her Majesty’s Government and run to be the next prime minister, anything is possible.”

Yeovil MP backs Liz Truss for leader says she has the ‘right economic plan'

18:09 , Robert Dex

Marcus Fysh, the MP for Yeovil, said he was backing Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to be the next Tory leader.

In a tweet, he said: “There are many great talents and friends standing for Conservative Leader but for me the one who is experienced, tough, practical, has the right economic plan, will sort the NI Protocol and make the most of independence from the EU, unite Party & country and win, is Liz Truss.”

PM’s ex says story he was to run for leadership was a ‘joke'

20:40 , Robert Dex

Petronella Wyatt, a former girlfriend of Boris Johnson, who started the rumour the PM was intending to stand down so he could enter the race to become Tory Party leader has said it was “a joke”.

She clarified the situation online after journalists pointed out the Conservative Party rulebook would not allow him to stand again.

Lady Nadine Dorries on the cards?

20:53 , Robert Dex

Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries could be made a peer, according to reports.

The Sunday Times said the Culture Secretary, who was among the supporters in Downing Street as he announced he was standing down, could go to the House of Lords as part of his resignation honours list.

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