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Who are the contenders in the Tory leadership race?

UK News | Published:

The rundown on what the rivals for Number 10 have said at their campaign launches.

All 10 contenders in the Tory leadership race have launched their campaigns ahead of the first round of voting by Conservative MPs on Thursday.

MPs will whittle the rivals down to a final two and party members will then decide who will be the new leader and prime minister.

Here is a look at how they pitched for the top job at their launches.

– Boris Johnson

The leadership frontrunner said Britain must leave the EU by October 31, regardless of whether it had been able to negotiate a fresh deal with Brussels.

He insisted he did not want a no-deal but said it was essential that the Government prepared for that eventuality as a “last resort”.

He cited his record as mayor of London, when he combined policies promoting social justice with support for business and financial services.

Boris Johnson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Boris Johnson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

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– Sajid Javid

The Home secretary insisted he could change the image of the Tories across the country as he stressed his humble background as the son of an immigrant.

He said it was time to follow the Scottish Tories and “leave the short term comfort zone and throw out central casting” by picking somebody different.

Mr Javid said the UK must prepare for a no deal, but insisted he could get an agreement through Parliament by October 31.

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Branding Mr Johnson as “yesterday’s news”, Mr Javid said voters wanted to hear the Tories talk about more than Brexit

– Michael Gove

One of the leaders of the Vote Leave campaign, he said Brexit was an “unashamedly personal” matter for him, although he would be prepared to delay beyond October 31 if negotiations were making progress.

Following the disclosure he took cocaine before entering politics, he sought to get his campaign back on track, taunting his rival and sometime ally Boris Johnson for pulling out of the last leadership contest.

The Environment Secretary said he would scrap VAT and replace it with a lower and simpler sales tax.

– Jeremy Hunt

The Foreign Secretary said he was a “serious leader” for a “serious moment” in the country’s history.

He warned the Tories would be “annihilated” if they fought a general election without first delivering Brexit.

He said would be prepared to leave the EU without a deal, but signalled he could extend Brexit beyond October 31 if an agreement was in sight.

– Dominic Raab

The former Brexit secretary said he was the “conviction Brexiteer” with the “discipline and focus” to get Britain out of the EU by October 31.

In what was seen as a sideswipe at Boris Johnson, he said “bluff and bluster” would not deliver and refused to rule out suspending Parliament to get Brexit through.

Dominic Raab (David Mirzoeff/PA)
Dominic Raab (David Mirzoeff/PA)

On domestic policy, he said he would raise the employee’s national insurance threshold to “take the lowest paid out of payroll taxes altogether”.

– Matt Hancock

The Health Secretary said he had the “only credible plan” for Brexit which could get through Parliament.

He said no deal was not possible as MPs would prevent it and that he would go back to Brussels to negotiate a time limit to the Northern Ireland backstop.

He promised to raise the national living wage to more than £10-an-hour.

– Rory Stewart

The International Development Secretary issued a vigorous warning against a no-deal Brexit, accusing proponents of peddling “fairy stories”.

He said that if MPs were unable agree a way forward he could appoint a “grand jury of citizens” to sit for three weeks to come up with a solution.

His launch included a strong personal attack on Boris Johnson, questioning whether he was the right person to take charge of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

– Andrea Leadsom

The former leader of the House set out plans for a “managed exit” from the EU, saying leaving by the October 31 deadline is a “hard red line”.

She dismissed claims Parliament would be able to block no deal, saying it was the “legal default position”.

On domestic policy, she said her priorities were building new homes, cutting crime, promoting business and delivering a carbon neutral economy.

– Mark Harper

A former chief whip under David Cameron, he described himself as the “serious underdog” in the contest.

While he said he was prepared for no deal, he said it was not going to be possible to leave by October 31 – with or without a deal – as Parliament would not allow it.

As the only contender not to have served in government under Theresa May, he said he could offer a “fresh approach” to the negotiations with Brussels.

– Esther McVey

The former work and pensions secretary said she had a “clear agenda” to deliver Brexit on October 31 and then unite the country.

She promised a pay rise for the four million public sector workers whose efforts had helped get the economy “back on track”.

Ms McVey said she would also increase spending on the police and education while cutting back foreign aid to pre-2010 levels.

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