UK Conservative Party leadership contest

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Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2019
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Summary:

Reports and analyses relating to the race to lead the Conservative Party and become the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, following the announcement from Theresa May that she had decided to resign on 7 June 2019.

Further information:

Following the inability to deliver the United Kingdom's effective withdrawal from the European Union by the original timeline - related to a fragmented Parliament and criticism from her own political party - Prime Minister Theresa May announced on 24 May 2019 she intended to resign on 7 June and make way for a leadership contest in the Conservative Party, which would eventually result in a new Prime Minister.

A number of senior figures of the Party lined up to present their leadership bids. Some members of the party criticised the amount of candidates who gathered the necessary support to put forward their name, calling for changes in rules of the leadership contest. Analysts suggested the outcome of the European Parliament election in the United Kingdom would influence the choice of a new leader, depending on their position regarding the precise Brexit they defend. Ahead of a state visit to the United Kingdom in June 2019, US President Donald Trump suggested he supported Mr Johnson to become the next party leader and Prime Minister.

Following Theresa May's official resignation as leader of the Conservative Party, it was announced on 10 June that 10 candidates had gathered the necessary proposer, seconder and support from six other members of Parliament. These were: Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Mark Harper, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart. Several rounds of voting by Conservative MPs would take place, until only two candidates were left - these would be up for scrutiny from the wider Conservative Party membership.

Mr Gove's announcement that he had consumed cocaine during his adulthood, together with Mr Johnson's resistance in appearing in public to discuss his ideas as potential Prime Minister dominated the media focus ahead of the first round, which was held on 13 June. Candidates were required the support of 16 MPs to proceed to the next stage. Boris Johnson (114) collected the most support, followed by Jeremy Hunt (43). Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey were eliminated from the race. Matt Hancock announced his withdrawal on 14 June.

The first public debate between the remaining candidates was held on 16 June, except for Boris Johnson who decided not to take part. The second round of voting was held on 18 June - the threshold increased to 33 MPs and led to Dominic Raab being knocked out of the race (30 votes). The remaining candidates took part at a second televised debate later in the day.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
The Economist, 24/05/2019: British politics after Theresa May https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/05/24/british-politics-after-theresa-may
Politico, 24/05/2019: The tragedy of Theresa May https://www.politico.eu/article/the-tragedy-of-theresa-may-brexit-resignation/
Deutsche Welle, 24/05/2019: Brexit sinks Theresa May's UK prime ministership https://p.dw.com/p/3J2vj
The Conversation, 24/05/2019: Theresa May resigns: how the leadership race could play out from here https://theconversation.com/theresa-may-resigns-how-the-leadership-race-could-play-out-from-here-117762
The New Yorker, 24/05/2019: Theresa May Resigns, Forever Stained by Brexit https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/theresa-may-resigns-forever-stained-by-brexit
Institute for Government, 24/05/2019: Theresa May resigns with a legacy of unfulfilled ambitions https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/theresa-may-resigns-legacy-unfulfilled-ambitions
Foreign Policy, 24/05/2019: Theresa May Broke Britain https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/24/theresa-may-broke-britain/
Politico, 24/05/2019: Inside Theresa May’s Great British Failure https://www.politico.eu/article/theresa-may-brexit-referendum/
The Conversation, 24/05/2019: Theresa May resigns as British prime minister – here’s where it all went wrong https://theconversation.com/theresa-may-resigns-as-british-prime-minister-heres-where-it-all-went-wrong-117763
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 24/05/2019: May Leaves, But Brexit Remains https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/may-leaves-brexit-remains
Euro|topics, May 2019: Is May's departure a tragedy? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/220455/
Institute for Government, 28/05/2019: The new Prime Minister will have their work cut out in Brussels https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/new-prime-minister-will-have-their-work-cut-out-brussels
Deutsche Welle, 29/05/2019: Who are the candidates to replace Theresa May? https://p.dw.com/p/3J08p
The Conversation, 29/05/2019: Tory leadership race could undermine confidence in UK economy https://theconversation.com/tory-leadership-race-could-undermine-confidence-in-uk-economy-117934
Euro|topics, June 2019: Trump praises Johnson and recommends hard Brexit https://www.eurotopics.net/en/220962/
Reuters, 03/06/2019: What will PM May's successor do about Brexit? https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN1T41UJ
Institute for Government: Blog, 03/06/2019: Rearranging government departments isn’t risk-free for Tory leadership contenders https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/rearranging-government-departments-not-risk-free-tory-leadership-contenders
Politico, 04/06/2019: The path to power for the UK’s next prime minister https://www.politico.eu/article/the-path-to-power-for-the-uk-next-prime-minister-tory-party-theresa-may/
New Statesman, 04/06/2019: Boris Johnson passes his first leadership test https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/06/boris-johnson-passes-his-first-leadership-test
Spigel Online International, 04/06/2019: What Boris Johnson Could Mean for Brexit https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/what-boris-johnson-could-mean-for-brexit-a-1270228.html
BBC News, 07/06/2019: Theresa May resignation: How the UK's next prime minister will be chosen https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48497953
BBC News, 10/06/2019: Tory leadership: A weird start to the first day of the contest https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48590035
The Guardian, 11/06/2019: The Tory contest shows that the Brexiters’ dream is dying before their very eyes https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/11/tory-contest-brexiters-leaving-eu
Politico, 12/06/2019: Warm beer and the ‘existential’ Brexit threat to UK Tories https://www.politico.eu/article/david-gauke-uk-justice-secretary-warm-beer-and-the-existential-brexit-threat-to-uk-tories/
Euro|topics, June 2019: Who will succeed Theresa May? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/221297/
Wikipedia: 2019 Conservative Party (UK) leadership election https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Conservative_Party_(UK)_leadership_election
The Guardian, 18/06/2019: BBC Conservative leadership debate – the winners and the losers https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/18/bbc-conservative-leadership-debate-the-winners-and-the-losers
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 18/06/2019: Five Foreign Policy Questions for the UK’s Next Prime Minister https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/five-foreign-policy-questions-uk-s-next-prime-minister
Politico, 19/06/2019: 5 takeaways from the Tory leadership debate https://www.politico.eu/article/5-takeaways-from-the-tory-leadership-debate/

News
BBC News: Conservative Party leadership contest https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/ck7edpjq0d5t/conservative-party-leadership-contest
The Guardian: Conservative leadership https://www.theguardian.com/politics/conservative-leadership
Deutsche Welle, 24/05/2019: EU leaders react to Theresa May's resignation https://p.dw.com/p/3J0eh
Foreign Policy, 24/05/2019: Theresa May Stands Down https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/24/theresa-may-stands-down/
EurActiv, 24/05/2019: Theresa May to resign, citing failure to deliver Brexit as ‘deep regret’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/theresa-may-resigns-citing-failure-to-deliver-brexit-as-deep-regret/
Politico, 25/05/2019: UK Conservatives jostle for top job after May’s resignation https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-conservatives-jostle-for-top-job-after-mays-resignation/
EurActiv, 29/05/2019: UK PM frontrunner Boris Johnson summoned to court for Brexit ‘lies’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/uk-pm-frontrunner-boris-johnson-summoned-to-court-for-brexit-lies/
Politico, 30/05/2019: Barnier to next British PM: May’s deal ‘only option’ for orderly Brexit https://www.politico.eu/article/barnier-to-next-british-pm-mays-deal-only-option-for-orderly-brexit/
Politico, 30/05/2019: Brexit question may need to go ‘back to the people,’ says UK chancellor https://www.politico.eu/article/philip-hammond-brexit-second-referendum-or-general-election/
Politico, 31/05/2019: UK business lobby warns Tory candidates against no-deal Brexit https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-business-lobby-warns-conservative-leadership-candidates-against-no-deal-brexit/
The Guardian, 02/06/2019: Tories call for rule change as 13th name enters leadership race https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/02/tories-call-for-rule-change-as-13th-name-enters-leadership-race
EurActiv, 03/06/2019: In search of realism: the Tory leadership and Brexit https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/in-search-of-realism-the-tory-leadership-and-brexit/
ITV News, 04/06/2019: Rule changes in PM race considered as Hammond tells candidates to be honest https://www.itv.com/news/2019-06-04/rule-changes-in-pm-race-considered-as-hammond-tells-candidates-to-be-honest/
Reuters, 04/06/2019: Conservative Party agree leadership election rules to reduce numbers https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN1T52BE
BBC News, 10/06/2019: Tory leadership: Final 10 contenders named in race to No 10 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48584011
The Economist, 10/06/2019: Conservative Party leadership contenders propose tax cuts for high-earners https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/06/10/conservative-party-leadership-contenders-propose-tax-cuts-for-high-earners
Reuters, 07/06/2019: May steps down as party chief, igniting leadership race https://uk.reuters.com/article/UKKCN1T812F
The Guardian, 11/06/2019: EU view of Tory leadership candidates deeply critical, say sources https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/11/eu-view-of-tory-leadership-candidates-deeply-critical-say-sources
Reuters, 11/06/2019: 'Delay means defeat': Johnson commits to October Brexit deadline https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1TC2NW
Reuters, 11/06/2019: Where's Johnson? PM candidate criticised for avoiding scrutiny https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN1TC0OK
ITV News, 11/09/2019: Conservative leadership hopefuls Stewart, Leadsom and Harper clash on Brexit deadline https://www.itv.com/news/2019-06-11/mps-cant-stop-no-deal-brexit-says-leadsom-as-she-launches-bid-to-be-pm/
Politico, 11/06/2019: Johnson, Gove or Raab as PM is ‘horrific’ prospect, Sturgeon says https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-michael-gove-or-dominic-raab-as-pm-is-horrific-prospect-scotland-nicola-sturgeon-says/
EurActiv, 11/06/2019: Deal or no deal? Britain’s PM hopefuls divided over Brexit https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/deal-or-no-deal-britains-pm-hopefuls-divided-over-brexit/
Politico, 13/06/2019: Boris wins first Tory leadership ballot, and wins big https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-wins-first-tory-leadership-ballot-and-wins-big/
Deutsche Welle, 13/06/2019: Boris Johnson takes hefty lead in UK leadership race https://p.dw.com/p/3KJGY
Politico, 16/06/2019: Tory leadership frontrunner Johnson dodges first TV debate https://www.politico.eu/article/tory-leadership-frontrunner-johnson-dodges-first-tv-debate/
EurActiv, 17/06/2019: Taking aim at Johnson, British PM hopefuls make their Brexit case https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/taking-aim-at-johnson-british-pm-hopefuls-make-their-brexit-case/
Politico, 18/06/2019: Dominic Raab knocked out of Tory leadership race https://www.politico.eu/article/dominic-raab-knocked-out-of-tory-leadership-race/
BBC News, 19/06/2019: Tory leadership race: Rivals in BBC debate clash over Brexit deadline https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48673698
EurActiv, 19/06/2019: Johnson looks to cement UK leadership lead after surviving TV debate https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/johnson-looks-to-cement-uk-leadership-lead-after-surviving-tv-debate/

Official
CBI: Open letter from the CBI to all Conservative leadership candidates https://www.cbi.org.uk/articles/open-letter-from-the-cbi-to-all-conservative-leadership-candidates/
Channel 4: First public debate between Conservative Party leadership candidates [via Youtube] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWdRE0XyecA
BBC: Our Next Prime Minister - Debate between Conservative Party leadership candidates, 18 June 2019 https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00067qs/our-next-prime-minister

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