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Who is in the running to be the next UK prime minister?

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By Catherine Hardy  with The Guardian
Who is in the running to be the next UK prime minister?

Five candidates are in the running to be the next leader of the Conservative Party in the UK – and the country’s next prime minister.

The latest to set out her programme is Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom.

In her opening speech, the 53-year-old described the UK’s vote to leave the EU as “perhaps the biggest moment since the Berlin Wall came down” and insisted the result “is final and must be respected.”

The front-runner in the contest is Interior Minister Theresa May, who campaigned for “Remain” in the country’s recent referendum on membership of the EU.

Who are the famous five?

Theresa May

  • 59
  • Oxford University graduate
  • Worked at Bank of England
  • Became MP in 1997
  • Home Secretary (Interior Minister) for six years
  • Pro-Remain

Michael Gove

  • 48
  • Oxford University graduate
  • Former journalist
  • Became MP in 2005
  • Justice Minister
  • Pro-Leave

Andrea Leadsom

  • 53
  • Warwick University
  • Career in banking and finance
  • Energy Minister
  • Strongly pro-Leave

“The next person to lead this country has to be somebody who believes in the opportunity of leaving the EU,” Leadsom has said.

Stephen Crabb

  • 43
  • Bristol University
  • Professional parliamentary background
  • Became MP in 2005
  • Work and Pensions Secretary
  • Pro-Remain

Liam Fox

  • 53
  • Glasgow University
  • Former GP and army medical officer
  • Became MP in 1992
  • Former Defence Minister
  • Pro-Leave


Conservative Party rules say only two candidates can contest the party leadership.

5 July

First ballot held by parliamentary party, MPs have five candidates to choose from

7 July

Second ballot by parliamentary party (if needed)

8 September

Closing date for postal ballot by all members of party

9 September

New leader of Conservative Party announced.

Also becomes next UK prime minister by default.