The Speaker
Friday, 14 June 2024 – 09:57

Conservative Leadership Race 2019 – who is in the race so far?

The Conservative Leadership Race will officially begin after Theresa May resigns on June 7, 2019. Here are the candidates that have so far announced their intention to run for the top job.


Boris Johnson

  • Boris Johnson is a clear favourite in the Conservative leadership race. 
  • Mr Johnson is reportedly in favour of Canada-style free trade deal with the European Union, but says he would take the UK out of the EU deal or no deal at the end of October.
  • The former mayor of London and the former foreign secretary is yet to announce many policies he would pursue as Conservative leader.


Andrea Leadsom

  • Andrea Leadsom recently resigned from her role as Leader of the House of Commons.
  • It is understood Leadsom would support a no-deal Brexit – in the cabinet, she was the leader of the ‘pizza club’ which tried to stop Mrs May from choosing a soft Brexit approach.


Matt Hancock

  • Matt Hancock is the current Health Secretary.
  • His backers argue that he can bring younger voters back to support the Conservatives.
  • Hancock is a remainer and does not believe a no-deal Brexit would be supported by Parliament.


Dominic Raab

  • The former Brexit secretary has been discussed as a possible successor to May for some time now.
  • Raab would rather leave the EU with a deal according to reports and wants to renegotiate the Northern Ireland backstop issue. Failing this, he says he would opt for a no-deal exit.


Michael Gove

  • The environment secretary has promoted himself as a ‘unity candidate’, believing he can bring together the different sides of the Conservative party. 
  • Gove has advocated an incremental approach to leaving the European Union


Esther McVey

  • The former Work & Pensions Secretary is in the running to be next Conservative leader.
  • McVey favours a no-deal Brexit and she has said she would cut foreign aid in order to fund schools and police in the UK.


Rory Stewart

  • Perhaps an outsider to the top job, Rory Stewart was recently promoted to the Cabinet as International Development Secretary.
  • Stewart describes himself as a one-nation Conservative and regards himself as a moderniser who could win over young voters by tackling climate change.
  • Stewart supported May’s deal, and does not support a no-deal exit.


Jeremy Hunt

  • Former Health Secretary and current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has also entered the leadership contest.
  • Hunt is thought to back a no-deal Brexit if an agreement can not be reached by the end of October.
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