London politics latest LIVE: Leadership race hots up as Sunak vows to ‘restore trust’ after Johnson ousted

London politics latest LIVE: Leadership race hots up as Sunak vows to ‘restore trust’ after Johnson ousted


hancellor Nadhim Zahawi has launched his bid to replace Boris Johnson in Downing Street and promised to ‘steady the ship’ as PM

Launching his campaign, he said he wanted to “stabilise the economy”.

He said: “Thanks to Brexit, we are now a free nation. Let’s not just talk about the opportunities that follow, let’s take them.

“If a young boy, who came here aged 11 without a word of English, can serve at the highest levels of Her Majesty’s Government and run to be the next prime minister, anything is possible.”

He entered a crowded field with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps among those announcing their candidacy.

Shapps said he was ruling out a general election and would produce an emergency budget cutting personal tax for the most vulnerable and giving state support to firms with high levels of energy consumption.

It comes as Ben Wallace has pulled out of the race to become PM.

In a statement released on Twitter, the Defence Secretary said he discussed a potential bid with his family but will instead, focus on his current job.

Rishi Sunak, who resigned as Chancellor, announced his leadership bid on Friday afternoon, claiming he intends to “restore trust” following the resignation of Mr Johnson, adding: “I want to lead this country in the right direction.”

He has been endorsed by former party chair, Oliver Dowden and Commons leader, Mark Spencer.

Chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat has announced a leadership bid, while former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch laid out her bid in The Times. Attorney general, Suella Braverman has also thrown her hat in the ring to be Prime Minister.

On Monday, elections will take place to the executive of the backbench 1922 Committee which will then set out the rules and timetable for the leadership contest.


‘Thinning’ of candidates should happen quickly, Tory MP says

Tory MP and committee chairman Sir Charles Walker said those running for the Tory leadership should not “knock lumps out of each other”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I think we’ve got to get through the thinning process very, very quickly.

“I hope some of the candidates who know they have no hope of leading our party and becoming prime minister actually decide to drop out for the greater good.

“They don’t need to put themselves in the shop window and sort of stretch out the process any longer than it needs to be stretched out.”

Sir Charles Walker

/ PA Archive


Rehman Chishti considering running for PM

Tory MP Rehman Chishti has confirmed he is “actively considering” running for leader.

The newly-appointed Foreign Office minister retweeted quotes attributed to him by the BBC, stating: “We need leaders who best reflect modern Britain and can provide solutions to the challenges our nation is facing now.”


Rishi Sunak in ‘unfortunate bind’ with tax policy

Former minister Steve Baker, who is backing Attorney General Suella Braverman for Tory leader, claimed Rishi Sunak is in an “unfortunate bind” as he has got to “double down” on his tax position.

The MP for Wycombe told BBC Breakfast: “The problem that we’ve got with Rishi is that he’s in a bind that he’s got to double down on the policy that he has had.

“I believe that taxes in this country are too high at their current levels, so high that they’ll be doing more harm than good at these levels.

“Now, unfortunately, because Rishi’s record is of saying he wants low taxes, but then putting them up, he’s now got to double down on that record during this campaign. And that leaves him in a very unfortunate bind.”

Steve Baker

/ PA Wire


Prime candidates Sunak and Hunt, Lord Hayward says

Tory Peer Lord Hayward said the prime candidates for prime minister will be Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt.

He told Sky News it has been “striking” to see who has come out in support of Sunak, who announced his leadership bid on Friday afternoon.

“He’s got on side a number of respected big hitters and they will clearly give him strong backing, but not only in terms of status but organisation of the party.”

Jeremy Hunt has not announced a bid for the leadership, but allies of the former foreign secretary, who was runner-up to Boris Johnson in 2019, said he was “virtually certain” to stand again this time.

Lord Hayward said Sajid Javid will influence where the vote splits “very heavily”.


In case you missed it

Rishi Sunak, who resigned as Chancellor, has posted a slick campaign video online as he announced his leadership bid.

The video posted to Twitter on Friday afternoon, delves into his family history and emigration to Britain.

In case you missed it, watch below:


Tom Tugendhat pitches to Scottish Tory members

Tory leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat has made his first pitch to Scottish Tory members.

Mr Tugendhat is thought to have support among Scottish Tory MSPs, with chief whip Stephen Kerr and North East representative Douglas Lumsden having publicly declared their desire to see him take over.

Writing in the Times on Saturday, Mr Tugendhat said the party is the only one that voters can “trust to unequivocally stand up for the union and Scotland’s role within it”.

“If we are to defeat Labour and the SNP-Green coalition, our party will need a fresh start under serious and tested leadership.

“A clean slate is an opportunity to restore this integrity to our politics.”


Andrea Jenkyns should ‘explain’ rude gesture

Commons Leader Mark Spencer said Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns needs to “justify” a rude gesture she directed to a crowd outside Downing Street.

Ms Jenkyns appeared to make a rude sign with her hand as she walked through the black gates ahead of Boris Johnson’s resignation speech.

Mr Spencer told BBC Breakfast: ““I mean, Andrea will have to… justify that for herself. But I do understand emotions were running pretty high and they were pretty raw on that day. But I don’t think that was the right thing to do at all.”

Read more here.

Andrea Jenkyns

/ PA Archive


A recap

Here are the four candidates who have already announced their bid for leadership:

Former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak

Attorney general, Suella Braverman

Chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat

Former equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch

Read more here.


Committee could settle on two names by July 20

The 1922 Committee will look to whittle down the list of candidates to two names by July 20, one of its members said on Saturday.

Conservative lawmakers will hold a series of votes to reduce the field to two final candidates, who will then face a postal ballot of the wider Tory membership.

Treasurer 1922 Committee Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told Times Radio: “I think that we will be able to frame a process to actually come up with two names by the time parliament goes down on the 20th of July.

“We should have an answer by the time of the party conference in October and maybe before that.”

The committee will set out the exact rules and timetable for the contest next week.


Suella Braverman: ‘Get rid of woke rubbish’

Candidate Suella Braverman has listed what she believes should be first priorities for the next prime minister.

Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, she mentioned tax cuts, cutting government spending and solving the migrant crisis among other issues.

She also said: “We need to get rid of all this woke rubbish and actually get back to a country where describing a man a woman in terms of biology does not mean you’re going to lose your job.”

Watch here: