London: The contest to replace Theresa May, who on Friday announced she was quitting as the UK prime minister, hotted up on Saturday with five candidates now vying for the job, the British media reports say.
In the race are British health minister Matt Hancock, former foreign minister Boris Johnson, current foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, International Developm- ent Secretary Rory Stewart and former work and pensions minister Esther McVey. Mr Stewart said he would not serve under rival Boris Johnson because of his backing for a no-deal exit. Party bosses expect a new leader to be chosen by the end of July, reports BBC.
Mr Hancock told Radio 4’s Today there was no point in becoming prime minister unless he was straightforward about the trade-offs - ‘between sovereignty and market access and the trade-offs to get a deal through this Parliament.’
He also said the party needed a ‘leader for the future not just for now,’ capable of appealing to younger voters.
“We need to move on from the horrible politics of the last three years,” he said. "We need a fresh start and a fresh face to ensure this country wins the battles of the 2020s and remains prosperous for many years to come."
"It pains me to say it," he told BBC News.
“Boris has many, many qualities but I talked to him a few days ago and I thought he had said to me that he was not going for a no-deal exit.
"He has now come out and said yesterday that he is going for something which I believe is undeliverable, unnecessary and is going to damage our country and economy."
Amber Rudd is not standing but wants to shape the debate on Brexit. Mr Johnson told an economic conference in Switzerland on Friday that a new leader would have ‘the opportunity to do things differently.’
“We will leave the EU on 31 October, deal or no deal. The way to get a good deal is to prepare for a no deal.’
The public broadcaster says most bookmakers have Mr Johnson as the favourite, in front of former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Environment Secretary Michael Gove....