London, UK — The first round of voting for the new Conservative Party leader and UK Prime Minister has begun. 330 Conservative MPs will select two candidates before widening the vote to the party’s membership.
Home Secretary, Theresa May goes into the vote with the most backing from Tory MPs.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson shows his backing for Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom who he shared a podium with during the EU Referendum’s T.V. debates. Justice Secretary, Michael Gove is running for the position whilst dashing Mr Johnson’s own hopes of a leadership bid.
Former Defense Secretary, Liam Fox and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb are also running for the leadership position.
Theresa May and Stephen Crabb backed the Remain campaign during the EU Referendum whilst Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove and Liam Fox supported Leave.
The results of the first round of voting are said to be announced at 19:00 BST (UTC +1) with the lowest performing candidate being eliminated. There will be subsequent votes on Thursday and Tuesday until two candidates remain.
Leadership candidates had a fifteen-minute slot with Tory MPs to make their case for the position of Leader of the Conservative Party at a meeting last night.
According to reports, the evening was a shambles for Andrea Leadsom with one MP describing her pitch as “a car crash”. Leadsom was asked to address her backing from eurosceptic-party, UKIP and the controversial Leave.EU campaign. The same MP said, “When you’re asked to say you’re not UKIP at a hustings to be leader of the Conservative party, you’re in trouble.”
Despite this, a survey conducted by ConservativeHome put Leadsom as the favourite for Tory leader.
Michael Gove also came under fire this week after being accused of being untrustworthy. MP Ben Wallace wrote in the Telegraph that Mr Gove has “an emotional need to gossip, particularly when drink is taken.”
Current Prime Minister, David Cameron announced his resignation from the position following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. He said that the country needed “fresh leadership” in its Brexit negotiations.
The new leader is expected to be announced on 9th September.
More to follow…