Who’s backing whom in the Conservative leadership race?



Why he is running?

The former chancellor is pitching himself to the party and members as the serious candidate on the economy, who can guide the country through a potential recession by resisting calls for tax cuts. 

Significant figures publicly supporting Sunak:

Steve Barclay 

The former No 10 chief of staff was made Health Secretary after the Cabinet revolt against Boris Johnson last month. A loyal supporter of Mr Johnson, the former Brexit Secretary said Mr Sunak “has all the right attributes to take our country forward” and said the former chancellor’s “core thing” is “economic competence”.

George Eustice

The Environment Secretary is backing Mr Sunak and in April defended the former chancellor over allegation’s about his wife’s finances. Mr Eustice said Mr Sunak has “an intuitive consciousness of political risk and can think several moves ahead”.

Michael Ellis

The Northampton North MP and Cabinet Officer minister backed Mr Sunak before the first round of voting among Tory MPs on July 13, saying: “I have loyally served three Conservative Prime Ministers over the past decade. I know what it takes to make a good PM. And I have no doubt that Rishi will make a great one.”

Mark Spencer

The Leader of the House of Commons defended the speed with which Mr Sunak produced his slick campaign video, publishing it only 48 hours after Mr Johnson resigned. Mr Spencer said: “Rishi has been at the centre of government for a very long time; as chancellor of the exchequer he was always going to promote himself and promote the Conservative party and the Conservative government. So he would have had access to lots of those snippets of video, and you can pull those things together pretty quickly.”

Robert Buckland

The Welsh Secretary has been robust in his defence of Mr Sunak, telling Cabinet colleague Nadine Dorries to “wind her neck in” after she attacked the former chancellor’s expensive clothing.

Shailesh Vara

Mr Vara, who was appointed Northern Ireland Secretary after Brandon Lewis resigned and is close to Mr Johnson, said: “I have known Rishi Sunak for many years and am confident that in these difficult and challenging times he would be the right person to lead the UK as Prime Minister.”

Lord Hague 

Lord Hague, a former Tory leader, has pleaded with Conservative Party members to back Mr Sunak. Mr Hague represented the Richmond, Yorkshire, constituency before Mr Sunak and said his replacement was “the most assiduous and effective” he has ever seen.

Lord Lamont

The endorsement of Lord Lamont, Margaret Thatcher’s treasurer, was a massive boon to Mr Sunak’s camp. As leadership hopefuls competed to demonstrate their Thatcherite credentials, the Tory grandee’s intervention undoubtedly lent legitimacy to Mr Sunak’s plan to prioritise tackling inflation before cutting taxes. 

Dominic Raab

The Deputy Prime Minister was quick to pledge his support for Mr Sunak and was rewarded by introducing him at his campaign launch. Securing the backing of the second most senior Cabinet member gave an early boost to the campaign. 

Jeremy Hunt

After the former health secretary crashed out at an early stage of the leadership contest, he got behind Mr Sunak, saying he has the “highest standards of integrity” of all the candidates. 

Grant Shapps

Another leadership hopeful at the start of the race, the Transport Secretary lent his support to Mr Sunak, highlighting his early support for Brexit and his “seminal” pamphlet on freeports.

Rehman Chishti 

After briefly running for the top job himself, the MP for Gillingham and Rainham swiftly got behind Mr Sunak, saying that his “brilliant” experience as chancellor will be “vital” for tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

Oliver Dowden

The former Conservative party chair, who resigned last month in the wake of the double by-election defeat, was quick to throw his support behind Mr Sunak.

Odds: 7/1

Liz Truss

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