On 24 May 2019, Theresa May MP announced that she will resign as Prime Minister on 7 June; a Conservative Party leadership contest is due to take place the following week. Mrs May said she had done “everything I can” to convince MPs to support the withdrawal deal she had negotiated with the EU but it was not in the “best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort.”
How does the Conservative Party leadership contest work?
- nominations among MPs for the next leader will close in the week beginning 10 June. Candidates must be nominated by two Conservative MPs;
- if only one candidate comes forward, they become leader automatically (unlikely scenario);
- the list of candidates is reduced to a shortlist of two after a series of votes by Conservative MPs. It is currently expected that this process will be concluded by the end of June;
- the final two candidates are subject to a postal ballet of Conservative Party members (the vote is not open to the UK general public, it is restricted to people who are already members of the Conservative Party); and
- the winning candidate is expected to be announced before Parliament rises for summer (expected 26 July). By default the winning candidate also becomes the next UK Prime Minister.
At the time of writing, the following Conservative MPs have declared their intention to stand in the leadership contest: Boris Johnson; Andrea Leadsom; Dominic Raab; Rory Stewart; Jeremy Hunt and Esther McVey.
The following Conservative MPs are also expected to declare their intention to stand: Michael Gove; Sajid Javid; Matt Hancock; Steve Baker; Justine Greening; Nicky Morgan; Amber Rudd; Liz Truss; James Cleverly; George Freeman; Priti Patel; Sir Graham Brady and Penny Mordaunt.