Conservative leadership race: Who are the 13 Tory candidates?

A combination of pictures created in London on May 26, 2019 shows recent pictures of the eight contenders declared as of May 26 to replace Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May when she...

13 Conservative MPs are bidding to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister.

Amid growing calls for her resignation, Theresa May has announced her intention to step down as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

May's administration has received criticism for failing to win a majority in the 2017 snap general election and struggling to deliver on Brexit promises. Consequently, she will step down as Conservative leader on 7 June.

At that point, a successor will be elected. So far, 13 Tory MPs have put themselves forward for the leadership. To contest in the leadership race, the candidate must be backed by at least two colleagues.

On 7 June, Conservative MPs will vote on who they want to be the new leader. After several rounds of votes, it will be whittled down to the top two candidates, who will go head-to-head in another vote by all Tory MPs and Conservative Party members.

Here, we take a look at the 13 candidates who have declared their intention to run for the Conservative leadership.

James Cleverly

James Cleverly, the Conservative MP for Braintree, is seen in Westminster on May 28, 2019 in London, England. As more MPs enter the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party...

Constituency: Braintree

Roles in government: Since April, Cleverly has been the Under Secretary for the Department of Exiting the European Union. Between January 2018 and April 2019, he was the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Bio: Cleverly is a long-term pro-Brexit campaigner who believes no deal is better than no Brexit. He voted in favour of May's Brexit deal on all three occasions. The former London Assembly member has only been an MP since his election in 2015, making him a relative newcomer in this leadership contest.

Michael Gove

Environment Secretary Michael Gove leaves his home on May 28, 2019 in London, England. Gove has recently announced his bid to become the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister,...

Constituency: Surrey Heath

Roles in government: For four years, Gove held the role of Education Secretary in David Cameron's government. He has also served as Justice Secretary but he is now the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Bio: Gove previously declared his intention to run for the Tory leadership in 2016 after Cameron's resignation. After remaining in the cabinet and voting for May's deal on all three occasions, he will now stand for the leadership again. Gove, whose spells as Education and Environment Secretary have both been controversial, has always been a pro-Brexit campaigner.

Sam Gyimah

Conservative MP Sam Gyimah speaks at a 'People's Vote' rally calling for another referendum on Brexit on April 9, 2019 in London, England. British Prime Minister Theresa May meets German...

Constituency: East Surrey

Roles in government: Gyimah is a backbench MP now but he was formerly the Minister of Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.

Bio: Gyimah, the 13th MP to declare, resigned from his role in the cabinet because of May's Brexit deal. He is pro-Remain and has been publicly critical of the government's Brexit negotiations. Gyimah is the only candidate backing a second referendum in his leadership bid.

Matt Hancock

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock arrives for the weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on 21 May, 2019 in London, England. Ministers are due to debate a...

Constituency: West Suffolk

Roles in government: Hancock is the current Health Secretary, having previously served as Culture Secretary for just a few months.

Bio: Hancock was first elected as an MP in 2010 and he has had a rapid rise to the front benches in the last nine years. He voted for May's deal on all three occasions but backed Remain during the 2016 referendum. Hancock is also the first MP to launch his own smartphone app.

Mark Harper

Parliamentary under Secretary for Constitutional and Political Reform Mark Harper addresses delegates on the fourth, and final, day of the Conservatives Party Conference at the ICC,...

Constituency: Forest of Dean

Roles in government: Harper is a backbench MP but he was a Minister in two departments (Home Office and Work and Pensions) during the Cameron administration. He was also the Tory party's Chief Whip between May 2015 and July 2016.

Bio: Harper became the 12th MP to declare in this leadership race. He backed Remain and voted against May's deal but wants to honour the referendum and deliver Brexit by restarting negotiations. However, Harper has already conceded that he is an underdog in this leadership contest.

Jeremy Hunt

Britain's Foreign Secretary Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves after attending the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at 10 Downing Street in central London on May 14, 2019.

Constituency: South West Surrey

Roles in government: Hunt has been the Foreign Secretary since Boris Johnson's 2018 resignation over the Chequers agreement. He was previously Culture Secretary during the 2012 London Olympics and was then Health Secretary for six years until 2018.

Bio: First elected in 2005, Hunt is an experienced frontbench Tory MP. Although he initially backed Remain, he changed his mind in 2017 and has consistently voted in favour of May's deal. At the 2018 Conservative Party Conference, Hunt drew major criticism for comparing the EU to the Soviet Union.

Sajid Javid 

Britain's Home Secretary Said Javid leaves after attending the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at 10 Downing Street in central London on May 21, 2019.

Constituency: Bromsgrove

Roles in government: Javid is the current Home Secretary, taking over from Amber Rudd after she resigned over the Windrush scandal. He has previously held various roles in the government including Secretary of State for three departments: Culture, Business, and Communities.

Bio: Javid is a long-term Eurosceptic but he backed Remain during the 2016 referendum. He has since voted in favour of May's deal on all three occasions. Javid uses his family roots (second-generation Pakistani migrant and son of a bus driver) to appeal on a personal level.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson leaves the home of his girlfriend Carrie Symonds on May 27, 2019 in London, England. Mr Johnson is in the running for leader of the Conservative party following the...

Constituency: Uxbridge and South Ruislip

Roles in government: Johnson has been a backbench MP since resigning as Foreign Secretary in 2018. He was previously the Mayor of London between 2008 and 2016, overseeing the 2012 London Olympics.

Bio: Johnson tried for the Tory leadership in 2016 and he will contest again in 2019. He twice voted against May's deal before backing it during the third round of votes but he is a prominent critic of the outgoing MP. Johnson will consider himself a frontrunner in this contest as he is a well-known name and a popular figure among certain sections of the party.

Andrea Leadsom

Britain's former Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom  reacts as she leaves from her home in London on May 23, 2019. - UK House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom announced her...

Constituency: South Northamptonshire

Roles in government: Leadsom recently quit as Leader of the House - a role she held since the 2017 general election. She previously served as Environment Secretary between July 2016 and June 2017.

Bio: Leadsom quitting over May's handling of Brexit was largely seen as the last straw before the PM's resignation. She stood for the leadership in 2016 and will now join the contest again. Leadsom is a prominent pro-Leave campaigner who voted in favour of May's deal three times. She will hope to appeal to the right-wing of the Conservative Party.

Kit Malthouse

Deputy Mayor of London, Kit Malthouse attends the launch of London Tops MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index As Most Visited City report at London Eye Barracuda on July 9, 2014 in...

Constituency: North West Hampshire

Roles in government: Malthouse is a backbencher who previously served as Deputy Mayor of London under Boris Johnson. In 2018, he took Dominic Raab's role as Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

Bio: Malthouse is credited as the brains behind The Malthouse Compromise; an arrangement planning to renegotiate the backstop during Brexit talks. He thrice voted in favour of May's deal and also voted for a No Deal Brexit. Malthouse hopes he can use the fact that he is relatively unknown to offer a new direction for the Conservative Party.

Esther McVey

Conservative Party MP Esther McVey speaking at a Brexit:Lets Go WTO Rally organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign in Westminster, London, UK on January 17, 2019 where leading business...

Constituency: Tatton

Roles in government: McVey is another former cabinet minister now on the backbenches. She was formerly Work and Pensions Secretary until November 2018.

Bio: Former GMTV presenter McVey quit as Work and Pensions Secretary in a protest about May's Brexit deal. She launched a group called Blue Collar Conservatives as part of her campaign for the leadership. McVey is a prominent Brexit advocate who eventually voted for May's deal on the third revision.

Dominic Raab

Former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab speaks to the media during a press conference to offer an alternative Brexit plan on January 15, 2019 in London,...

Constituency: Esher and Walton

Roles in government: Raab was the Brexit Secretary between July and November 2018 before returning to the backbenches.

Bio: Raab is a former lawyer who firmly believes in delivering Brexit. He resigned from his role as Brexit Secretary in protest at May's Brexit deal. Raab is thought to pose a threat to Tory moderates, which indicates that he is among the favourites for the leadership.

Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart, U.K. international development secretary, departs after attending a weekly meeting of cabinet ministers at number 10 Downing Street on May 21, 2019 in London, England. Prime...

Constituency: Penrith and the Border

Roles in government: Stewart is the International Development Secretary. He has been in the role for less than a month after replacing Gavin Williamson.

Bio: Stewart is a pro-Remain candidate whose leadership message stresses the importance of avoiding a no deal Brexit. He has been using social media to appeal to a wider audience. Stewart is also a bestselling author after documenting his walk through Asia (most notably when alone in war-torn Afghanistan) in 2002.

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