Eight contenders to become PM through to next stage as Tory leadership shortlist revealed

UK

The candidates who have made it through to the next stage of the race to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader and prime minister have been revealed.

The eight MPs who have got through to the first round are:

• Rishi Sunak
• Penny Mordaunt
• Tom Tugendhat
• Liz Truss
• Suella Braverman
• Jeremy Hunt
• Kemi Badenoch
• Nadhim Zahawi

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Just before the list was announced Sajid Javid and Rehman Chishti said they were pulling out after not garnering enough support from MPs. Earlier in the day Grant Shapps pulled out of the race and backed Mr Sunak.

The leadership campaign officially kicked off at 12pm on Tuesday when nominations opened for a six-hour stint, closing at 6pm.

Several well-known MPs, such as Mr Sunak, Mr Tugendhat and Ms Truss, had already thrown their hats in the ring and had more than the 20 backers needed to get into the first round ahead of nominations opening.

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There were also some less well-known names in the mix such as equalities minister Kemi Badenoch and Rehman Chishti, the latter of who nobody publicly backed.

Voting by other Conservative MPs to whittle down the first round candidates will take place on Wednesday, with candidates then needing 30 backers to get through to the second round.

Those candidates will face successive rounds of voting from Thursday – and most likely until the end of next week – until there are only two left.

About 160,000 Conservative Party members will then vote for one of the final two and the result is to be announced on 5 September, when Boris Johnson will then hand over the keys to Number 10.

Three Tory MPs launched their campaigns on Tuesday morning – Rishi Sunak, Tom Tugendhat and Kemi Badenoch – while Home Secretary Priti Patel ruled herself out.

Cutting tax has been high on most of their agendas, with Mr Tugendhat pledging to cut fuel duty by 10p and Mr Sunak promising to “get the tax burden down” – after inflation reduces.

However, Ms Badenoch refused to enter into a tax cut “bidding war” against the other candidates.

Mr Sunak said he would not “demonise” Mr Johnson in his campaign but admitted the pair often disagreed, as he insisted he had the backing of “all wings of the party”.

Mr Johnson has said he would not publicly endorse any candidate as he did not want to damage their chances.

Labour was left fuming after the government refused to allow a motion of no confidence in both the government and the PM from being debated in the Commons tomorrow. It was aimed at ousting Mr Johnson from Number 10 immediately.

The government said it was not a “valuable use of parliamentary time” as Mr Johnson has already resigned and the leadership race is underway.

Sky News is hosting a live TV debate with the contenders vying to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and therefore prime minister, and you could be in the virtual audience.

The debate will take place on Monday 18 July hosted by Sky News presenter Kay Burley.

If you would like to be a member of the virtual audience and be in with a chance of asking a question, please email NewsDebates@sky.uk.

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