It is expected that the field of candidates will be whittled down to two in time for the start of MPs’ summer holidays.

12 July 2022

Boris Johnson’s successor will be announced on September 5 with Tory MPs to commence the process of voting for a new leader on Wednesday.

Here is a timetable for the leadership contest.

– Tuesday July 12: Nominations open and close. In order to stand, a candidate will need the support of at least 20 MPs – potentially making it harder for some of the less well-known contenders to make it onto the ballot paper.

As of Monday evening, 11 candidates have stated their intention to run for the top job.

– Wednesday July 13: First ballot. Any candidate who fails to get at least 30 votes is expected to drop out.

The previous Tory leadership contest in 2019, which had 10 candidates, saw a first ballot threshold of just 17 votes required, with the greater number this time around perhaps reflecting a desire to more quickly whittle down contenders.

– Thursday July 14: Second ballot. A second ballot will follow on Thursday with further ballots to be held next week until the list of candidates is reduced to a final two – who will then go forward into a postal ballot of party members.

Bob Blackman, joint-executive secretary of the 1922 Committee, said the aim was to have the contest down to a final two before the start of MPs’ summer holidays.

He told Sky News: “We’ve got to slim down the list of candidates pretty quickly to two.

“And the one thing that we’re committed to do is to achieve getting to two candidates by Thursday July 21.

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Rishi Sunak is expected to be a leading candidate (Yui Mok/PA)

“That means that we’ll hold a succession of ballots over the next few days in order to get to that position.”

– Sunday July 17: First debate. ITV will hold the first Tory leadership debate at 7pm.

– Monday July 18: Second debate. Sky News is scheduled to host another debate the following night, hosted by Kay Burley.

– Friday July 22 onwards: Hustings are to take place around the country over the summer to help party members determine their choice for the new Conservative leader.

Mr Blackman said it is a “condition of nomination” for candidates to agree that they will contest the ballot of party members if they reach the final two.

This is to avoid a situation as in 2016, when Dame Andrea Leadsom dropped out, handing the leadership unchallenged to Theresa May before party members were given the opportunity to vote.

– Monday September 5: New Conservative leader announced. The new prime minister will be announced on September 5 when MPs return to Westminster from their summer break.

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