No confidence vote 'not just about Partygate' says host

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On Monday it was announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would face a leadership vote. The poll was triggered after at least 54 Conservative Party MPs sent in letters of no confidence to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. Politicians from the party will now vote later this evening to decide the incumbent PM’s fate.

To be removed as leader of the Tories a majority of the party’s MPs – at least 180 – must vote against him tonight.

Some Tory MPs have expressed anger towards the PM, after Sue Gray’s report into Government lockdown parties was released last month.

Downing Street has said Mr Johnson “welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs”, and that tonight’s vote is “a chance to end months of speculation and allow the Government to draw a line and move on”.

But if a majority does vote against Mr Johnson it will result in a leadership contest, to determine the next Conservative Party leader.

So, who would be the leading candidates to take Mr Johnson’s place?

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt is now ranked as the betting favourite to take over from Mr Johnson, in the event he’s ousted from office.

The Betfair Exchange has odds of 9/2 that Mr Hunt will become the next Tory leader, while Ladbrokes ranks his chances as 1½.

During the 2019 leadership contest, Mr Hunt ran against Mr Johnson, and he currently holds the position as Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee.

Liz Truss

Both betting agents have Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as the second favourite, to assume leadership of the Tory party.

Betfair and Ladbrokes have awarded her odds of 7/1 and 6/1 respectively.

Ms Truss has become a more prominent name to the wider public, following her appointment as Lord David Frost’s successor to the role of the UK’s chief negotiator on Brexit.

Having served as an MP since 2010 she has become a favourite among the Conservative Party’s grassroots members.

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Tom Tugendhat

A veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Tom Tugendhat was tipped as a “rising star” and touted as a “possible future Tory leader” by Andrew Gimson on Conservative Home in 2017.

He’s well-respected within the party and is the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

Mr Tugendhat’s betting odds are as follows:

Betfair: 8/1
Ladbrokes: 7/1

Penny Mordaunt

According to Politics Home, trade minister Penny Mordaunt is emerging as a “dark horse” candidate to replace Johnson.

And with Betfair, she is currently viewed as the fourth most likely Tory MP to take over as party leader – odds of 8/1.

As the MP for Portsmouth North, she is perceived as a popular figure within the Conservative Party.

In 2019, Ms Mordaunt was appointed secretary of state for defence, becoming the first woman to hold the post.

Other Tory MPs touted by Betfair as candidates in any possible leadership contest include:

Rishi Sunak: 9/1
Ben Wallace: 12/1
Nadhim Zahawi: 17/1
Sajid Javid: 19/1

Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “The Prime Minister, who was booed during a service for the Queen’s platinum jubilee on the weekend, is 2/5 to win the Vote of No Confidence, like his predecessor Theresa May did in 2018, however, he is odds-on at 5/6 on Betfair Exchange to leave No.10 this year.”

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