Following what many saw as the inevitable resignation of Liz Truss after her short yet chaotic spell as prime minister, attention naturally turns to who might take over at Number 10. Whoever takes on the unenviable position will become the fifth prime minister since Brexit, and third since the 2019 general election.
After announcing her immediate resignation as leader of the Conservative party, Truss confirmed she would remain as prime minister until a successor is found. It is expected the vote to replace her will be limited to MPs only and will be completed next week.
Rishi Sunak is the current favourite to take over as leader and prime minister while Truss’ predecessor, Boris Johnson, has also not been ruled out of making a comeback. Chancellor of the Exchequer and two time party leader candidate, Jeremy Hunt, has already ruled himself out of standing.
Member of Parliament for Richmond since 2015, Rishi Sunak served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from February 2020 to July 2022, and was Chief Secretary to the Treasury before that. Sunak lost out in the previous leadership race to Liz Truss after coming down to the final two, garnering 42.6% of the vote.
Serving as as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council since September 2022, Penny Mordaunt has been MP for Portsmouth North since May 2010. She has served in both Boris Johnson and Theresa May’s Cabinets and was appointed Minister of State for Trade Policy in the 2021 reshuffle. Mordaunt also entered the leadership contest to succeed Johnson but was eliminated in the final round of voting.
The man who probably needs the least introduction is former prime minster Boris Johnson. Before becoming the country’s leader in 2019, he served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2016 to 2018 and as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.
MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015, he will likely be remembered most for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent revelations surrounding the breaching of lockdown laws, coined "Partygate". Following further knocks to his leadership suitability he resigned in July, finally leaving office on September 6.
Michael Gove has served in various cabinet positions under prime ministers David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. Having twice ran for the Conservative Party leadership, in 2016 and 2019, he finished in third place on both occasions.
Campaign manager for Johnson in the 2016 Conservative Party leadership election he later withdrew his support announcing his own intention to run, finishing third behind May and Andrea Leadsom. His second bid for leadership saw him lose out to Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.
Despitethis, Boris appointed Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with responsibilities including preparations for a no-deal Brexit. After the 2021 cabinet reshuffle he served as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations until he told the prime minister to resign and was sacked.
Perhaps the least know face in the list is MP for Wyre and Preston North, Ben Wallace. The former soldier is currently serving as Secretary of State for Defence, a position he has held since July 2019. Promoted to the post by the prime minister, Boris Jonhnson, he was re-appointed to the role by Liz Truss last month.