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Runners in the race to Number 10

Where do the 11 contenders in the race to replace Theresa May stand on Brexit and other issues?

Nominations in the race for the Conservative leadership open on Monday (Rick Findler/PA)
Nominations in the race for the Conservative leadership open on Monday (Rick Findler/PA)

Nominations in the race for the Conservative leadership will open on Monday, with 11 contenders so far setting out their intention to stand.

Here are the leadership runners and riders:

– Boris Johnson

The prominent Leave campaigner is the frontrunner (Brian Lawless/PA)

The former foreign secretary and mayor of London, who spearheaded the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, is widely seen as the frontrunner.

On Brexit, he has committed to keeping the October 31 deadline even if that means leaving without a deal, warning Tory MPs that the party faces “potential extinction” unless it can take the UK out of the EU.

On other issues, he has said he would spend at least £5,000 on every secondary school pupil in a drive to “level up” the education system.

– Jeremy Hunt

Mr Johnson’s replacement as foreign secretary hopes to appeal to centrist Tories (Victoria Jones/PA)

The Foreign Secretary has ruled nothing out on Brexit, but insists that his experience as a negotiator in both business and politics means he could go to Brussels and secure a better deal.

Although he has not ruled it out, he believes a no-deal Brexit would be “political suicide” for the Conservatives as Parliament would force a general election.

Mr Hunt has called for a big increase in defence spending after Britain leaves the EU to counter rising global threats and has suggested slashing corporation tax to Irish levels of 12.5% to attract investment.

– Dominic Raab

The former Brexit secretary wants to renegotiate with Brussels (Steve Parsons/PA)

The former Brexit secretary has set out an uncompromising approach in a bid to appeal to hardline Eurosceptics.

He wants Brussels to ditch the Irish backstop as part of a new agreement, but if the EU will not move on the issue, he will walk away without a deal on October 31 – and has not ruled out suspending Parliament to ensure that MPs cannot block the UK’s exit.

Mr Raab has said he would not describe himself as a feminist but has insisted he wants to improve social mobility, saying it would be his “driving mission” in Number 10.

– Michael Gove

The Environment Secretary has been a thorn in Mr Johnson’s side before (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Environment Secretary, who scuppered Mr Johnson’s last leadership bid in 2016, is again positioning himself in opposition to the frontrunner.

Unlike Mr Johnson, he has not ruled out seeking a further delay to Brexit – possibly for months beyond October 31 – if a deal is in reach, and warned pursuing a no-deal scenario could lead to a general election in which Jeremy Corbyn could enter Number 10.

He has promised to offer free citizenship for three million EU nationals in Britain after Brexit.

– Rory Stewart

The International Development Secretary would like to establish a citizens’ assembly (Victoria Jones/PA)

The International Development Secretary has travelled around the country filming himself chatting to voters in a bid to raise his profile in the race.

A Remainer who now accepts the referendum vote, he has ruled out a no-deal Brexit and would establish a citizens’ assembly to thrash out a new Brexit compromise.

He has also pledged to protect the Conservatives’ “reputation for economic competence”, hitting out at the “unfunded spending commitments” made by rivals.

– Sajid Javid

The Home Secretary would seek to cut the top rate of income tax (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Home Secretary’s message to Tory MPs is that “you don’t beat the Brexit Party by becoming the Brexit Party”.

He hopes to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement to remove the Irish backstop but does not want a delay beyond October 31.

Mr Javid has put forward a number of policy proposals, including cutting the top rate of income tax and establishing a £100 billion fund to invest in the UK’s infrastructure.

– Matt Hancock

The Health Secretary says no deal is not an option (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Health Secretary insists a no-deal Brexit is not a credible option and Parliament would never allow it.

He has set out a Brexit delivery plan to leave by October 31, including establishing an Irish border council, made up of UK and Irish officials, to prevent the return of a hard border and time-limiting the backstop.

In a bid to bolster his leadership credentials, he has set out his vision for a foreign policy that boosts trade and “resists protectionism”, while also promising to “uphold our values”.

– Andrea Leadsom

The Leaver lost out to Theresa May in the last Tory leadership contest (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The former leader of the Commons, who ran against Mrs May for the party leadership in 2016, was another prominent member of the Vote Leave campaign.

She has set out a plan to scrap the Withdrawal Agreement and instead “massively ramp up” preparations for a “managed” exit without a full deal.

Mrs Leadsom has also promised to tackle climate change at home and abroad and establish a cross-party commission to find a solution to funding social care.

– Sam Gyimah

As the only contender open to a second referendum, the former universities minister is widely seen as a rank outsider.

His five-point plan would give MPs a “final chance” to get a Brexit deal through Parliament while also preparing for a referendum if that failed.

The public would be offered a binding choice between a no-deal Brexit, a revised deal or remaining in the EU.

– Esther McVey

The former work and pensions secretary says the UK must leave the EU on October 31 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The committed Brexiteer has said she would fill her Cabinet with fellow believers.

She has called for the Tories to “embrace” a no-deal Brexit in order to make sure the UK leaves on October 31.

Elsewhere, she has caused controversy with comments championing the right of parents to take their children out of lessons on same-sex relationships.

– Mark Harper

The former chief whip has described himself as an underdog in the race (Dave Thompson/PA)

A former Conservative chief whip and Remain supporter who now accepts the referendum result, Mr Harper acknowledges he is an underdog in the leadership race.

He has called for a “short, focused” extension to allow for the deal to be renegotiated but said he would be prepared to leave with no deal if that is not possible.



From Belfast Telegraph