BORIS Johnson’s would-be successors are lining up for battle after the Prime Minister said he would quit.
A race to replace him as Tory leader and British prime minister has now begun, although Mr Johnson says he will remain in his post until a new leader is appointed.
Attorney General Suella Braverman became the first Conservative to announce her leadership bid.
But Rishi Sunak revealed that he will also be running.
Mr Johnson left with a warning to his predecessor.
“In Westminster the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves,” he said.
“And, my friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable.”
More than 1,000 Sun readers were quizzed on who they’d like in the post.
Mr Sunak came out on top, receiving 36.66 per cent of the vote.
In second place was Ben Wallace, with 21.92 per cent, – although now he has pulled out of the race – while Ms Truss took the bronze with 14.49 per cent of the vote.
Mr Hunt, who has cast his hat into the ring against Boris before, received just 7.24 per cent.
Bookies are also taking bets on who could step in, with Mr Sunak also in the lead nationally.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “The Tory leadership race has been blown wide-open following Ben Wallace’s announcement, and while Rishi Sunak is a clear favourite to be one of the last two contenders, his challenger could likely be any one of up to seven names at this point.”
So what do Brits want to happen next?
Rishi Sunak – Odds: 6/4
Party grassroots unhappy at the cost-of-living crisis but has public goodwill for Covid cash.
Ladbrokes revealed yesterday afternoon that 16.8 per cent of all bets placed so far are for Mr Sunak – the highest of any Tory in the race.
He officially threw his hat into the ring on Friday.
Penny Mordaunt – Odds: 5/1
She’s currently second favourite to become the next PM.
But she annoyed colleagues by openly campaigning during Mr Johnson’s various political woes.
So far, 8.7 per cent of all bets placed have been for Ms Mordaunt.
Liz Truss – Odds: 6/1
Now an advocate of Brexit despite voting Remain in referendum.
Sajid Javid – Odds 8/1
Mr Javid walked out on the Government after being offered the chance to stay in a Cabinet reshuffle – but only if he fired all of his advisers.
Nadhim Zahawi – Odds: 16/1
BREXIT: New Chancellor of Exchequer, 55.
Catapulted into the Cabinet after successful stint as vaccines minister.
Back-story as Iraqi refugee who went from arriving without any English to running schools.
Jeremy Hunt – Odds: 16/1
REMAIN: Ex-Health Secretary, 55, finally wielded the knife in June’s confidence vote.
Polling shows he would be beaten by every other candidate in the last round.
Remainer would struggle to win over Brexiteers.
Steve Baker – Odds 10/1
BREXIT: Mr Baker, who has previously described himself as the “hard man of Brexit”, runs the powerful the European Research Group (ERG).
He is a vocal critic of Mr Johnson, and called for him to step down in April this year. He was also deeply critical of Covid lockdowns.
He has already said he’d run on a platform to reverse plans to pay farmers to conserve the environment rather than produce food.
Tom Tugendhat – Odds 8/1
REMAIN: This backbench MP has never been a Government minister but has hinted at a bid to be Conservative leader.
The 48-year-old has a senior role as chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
Suella Braverman – Odds 16/1
BREXIT: Attorney General Ms Braverman is still in her role, despite calling for the PM to quit and saying she will stand in the contest to replace him.
She was previously a huge ally of Mr Johnson’s, but said this week: “Circumstances have dramatically changed in the last 48 hours.”
Ms Braverman’s previous odds were 100/1.
Nadine Dorries – Odds 200/1
BREXIT The culture secretary voted to leave the EU.
She has been a staunch supporter of Mr Johnson and has reportedly told friends she sees herself as a “continuation Boris” candidate and is “seriously thinking” about running.
The friend told Mail+: “Nadine is seriously considering throwing her hat in the ring, as she is passionate about Boris’s levelling up agenda, defending Brexit and fighting woke culture. She wants to keep Boris’s flame alive.”