Who are the favourites to be the next Tory leader?


Jeremy Hunt has ruled himself out of the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Rishi Sunak offered his resignation in the wake of Labour’s landslide in the general election and several Tory MPs are circling the post.

However, Hunt, the former chancellor, isn’t one of them, despite being one of the Conservative cabinet ministers to keep their constituency seat.

He told GB News on Saturday: “No, that time has passed.”

It means Hunt will not make a third attempt to become Tory leader, having thrown his hat in the ring unsuccessfully in 2019 and 2022.

However, former home secretary Suella Braverman has not yet ruled herself out of the race, saying on Saturday there were “no announcements”.

She said: “We’ve just got to take our time, we’ve got to figure out what the situation is.”

Several of the Tory “big beasts”, who may once have been seen as leadership contenders, such as Penny Mordaunt and Grant Shapps, are out of the race after losing their seats.

Sunak said he would quit as party leader once arrangements were in place to choose his successor.

Yahoo News UK looks at the contenders still in the running to be Tory leader.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch during the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Global Annual Conference 2024 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London. The event is a key event for business leaders from across the UK and the globe to come together to discuss the BCC's Election Manifesto, 'The Future of the Economy'. Picture date: Thursday June 27, 2024. (Photo by Lucy North/PA Images via Getty Images)Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch during the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Global Annual Conference 2024 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London. The event is a key event for business leaders from across the UK and the globe to come together to discuss the BCC's Election Manifesto, 'The Future of the Economy'. Picture date: Thursday June 27, 2024. (Photo by Lucy North/PA Images via Getty Images)

Business secretary Kemi Badenoch. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Kemi Badenoch was business secretary in Sunak’s government.

Popular with the Tory grassroots, she ran for the party leadership in 2022 and didn’t rule out another tilt at the top job earlier this year, saying “we will talk about leadership things after an election”.

Badenoch was also women and equalities minister and vowed to change the Equality Act to rewrite the definition of sex and allow organisations to bar transgender women from single-sex spaces.

She was recently embroiled in a row with actor David Tennant, who said at the British LGBT Awards: “Until we wake up and Kemi Badenoch doesn’t exist any more – I don’t wish ill of her, I just wish her to shut up…” Badenoch accused him of being a “rich, lefty, white male celebrity so blinded by ideology”.

Seat: Badenoch won her seat in North West Essex with 19,360 votes to the Labour candidate’s 16,750.

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Tom Tugendhat was appointed security minister in September 2022 by Liz Truss.

Like Badenoch, he stood for the party leadership that year and has not ruled out another run.

A Remainer in 2016, Tugendhat is seen as one of the more moderate leadership contenders.

Seat: Tugendhat won his Tonbridge seat with more than 20,000 votes.

EPSOM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 01: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel attends 'Derby Day' of the Betfred Derby Festival 2024 at Epsom Downs Racecourse on June 1, 2024 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)EPSOM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 01: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel attends 'Derby Day' of the Betfred Derby Festival 2024 at Epsom Downs Racecourse on June 1, 2024 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Dame Priti Patel at the Epsom Derby. (Getty Images)

Priti Patel served as home secretary in Boris Johnson’s cabinet between 2019 and 2022.

Also popular with the Tory grassroots, Patel is a hardliner on immigration and in April 2022 was the minister who introduced the government’s scheme to send small boat asylum seekers to Rwanda: a policy which faced multiple legal challenges before being passed into law – but which had yet to be put into action by the time Sunak called the election in May.

During her tenure, Patel was accused of bullying her staff but Johnson overruled an official conclusion that she broke the ministerial code, allowing her to stay in post.

Seat: Patel was victorious in Witham with 18,827 votes, ahead of Labour on 13,682.

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Suella Braverman is another former hardline home secretary seen as a contender for the leadership.

Sacked by Sunak in November last year, she became an outspoken critic of his administration and urged the party to move to the right following the disastrous local election results in May.

Seat: Braverman won the redrawn Fareham and Waterlooville seat in the election with 17,561 votes.

TOPSHOT - Leader of Reform UK Nigel Farage delivers a speech at a hotel in Blackpool, northwestern England, on June 20, 2024, in the build-up to the UK general election on July 4. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)TOPSHOT - Leader of Reform UK Nigel Farage delivers a speech at a hotel in Blackpool, northwestern England, on June 20, 2024, in the build-up to the UK general election on July 4. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Nigel Farage on the campaign trail for his Reform UK party. (AFP via Getty Images)

Despite finally becoming an MP at the eighth attempt, you can still bet on the Reform UK leader to be the next head of the Tories, although it now seems unlikely.

Under the rules of the Conservative Party, leadership hopefuls must be MPs, meaning Farage could – if he so wished and the party wanted him – cross the floor to the Tories and stand for any future leadership vacancy.

Seat: Farage won 46% of the vote in Clacton to become a Reform UK MP, securing 21,225 votes.


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