Tory leadership contenders: The 3 faces that could be preparing to oust Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson's Conservative support discussed by Raab

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Earlier this month Boris Johnson apologised for attending a party at No 10 Downing Street which was in breach of Covid regulations. The Prime Minister said he “believed implicitly that this was a work event” however has since been urged to resign by MPs from across the political spectrum. At this point, it remains to be seen how much longer Mr Johnson can continue as both the PM and leader of the Conservative Party. So, who potentially could succeed him?

According to betting agent Ladbrokes, Mr Johnson currently has odds of 1/6 to still be Tory leader by the time we reach the next general election – in May 2024.

In fact, he’s also at 2/7 to be replaced as PM in 2022 with this likelihood increasing to 13/2 the following year.

Mr Johnson could be ousted by his own MPs if 15 percent (54 MPs) submit a letter of no confidence in the leader to the chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

In this scenario he would then need to secure the backing of more than 50 percent of Tory MPs (179), to avoid forfeiting his leadership credentials

Equally, the PM has the option of resigning out of his own choice should he bow to growing demands.

So, if either of these scenarios were to transpire, who could replace him as leader of the Tories?

Rishi Sunak – Chancellor of the Exchequer

The Chancellor is viewed as a popular leadership candidate by both Conservative MPs and voters alike.

Mr Sunak is currently placed as the favourite at 11/8 to succeed Mr Johnson as PM and his slick social media operation could allow him to appeal to younger demographics.

However, in the past his “brand Rishi” approach to social media has seen him come in for criticism by other Tories.

Here, Mr Sunak has employed tactics such as incorporating his own name into the Conservative Party logo.

Consequently, it’s led to some suggestions that the strategy is an intentional one aimed at aligning himself as the natural successor to Mr Johnson.

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Liz Truss – Foreign Secretary

Ms Truss has become a more prominent name in the public sphere recently owing to her appointments as Foreign Secretary and Brexit minister respectively.

She’s recognised as a favourite among her peers in Westminster and has slightly extra political experience – five years more as an MP – than Mr Sunak.

The 46-year-old is marginally ranked as the second favourite to succeed Mr Johnson as PM, at 11/2 with Ladbrokes. However she is the preferred choice with readers surveyed by the Tory website Conservative Home.

Jeremy Hunt – Chair of Health and Social Care Committee

Currently third choice with the bookmaker at 7/1 to become the next Prime Minister, Mr Hunt is an experienced Tory backbencher who has been an MP since 2005.

As a vocal critic of the Government’s handling of the Covid pandemic Mr Hunt would be somewhat of a surprise choice given his omission from the Cabinet since Mr Johnson became PM in 2019.

He finished second in the Tory leadership contest held that same year and has indicated he could run again in the future.

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