POLITICS
20/06/2019 19:06 BST | Updated 24/06/2019 12:53 BST

It's Jeremy Hunt v Boris Johnson – But What Happens Next In The Tory Leadership Contest?

With a month still to go until the Tory membership decide the next Prime Minister, everything you need to know.

It’s felt like a *long* few weeks since Theresa May sparked the mother of all Tory leadership contests by announcing she would be leaving Number 10 this summer.

In the days after the PM’s not-so-shock departure, a whopping 13 Conservative MPs put themselves forward for the top job (some of whom you had probably never heard of before *cough* Mark Harper *cough*).

Now, after the field was whittled down by Tory MPs, only two candidates remain – our next prime minister will either be Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt.

But what happens now?

Tory Membership Have Their Say

Conservative MPs have chosen their two favourite candidates for the next Tory leader – but it is ultimately the party’s 160,000 strong membership who will get to decide the next occupant of Number 10.

Tory members will be given the chance to vote for their favourite contender in a postal ballot and are expected to receive their voting cards between July 6 and July 8. 

The results will then be announced around July 22 – whoever has the most support will become the UK’s next PM.

But there is still plenty of legwork Hunt and Johnson need to do before either is announced the victor. Both are expected to take part in a nationwide hustings tour to speak to voters, as well as a series of TV debates.

While the BBC will offer a one-on-one sit-down interview with Andrew Neil to each of the final two, as well as an appearance on a special edition of Question Time, Sky News is expected to hold a head-to-head debate hosted by Kay Burley.

When Will We Have A New Prime Minister?

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The results of the membership ballot are expected to be revealed during the week beginning July 22 – and the winner is expected to be installed in Downing Street soon after.

It will mean a busy couple of days for the Queen – while May will need to officially hand in her resignation to Her Maj, her successor will also have to visit Buckingham Palace, where they will be asked by the Queen to form a new government.

What Will The New PM Do First?

The start of the new prime minister’s premiership will coincide with recess in parliament (MPs’ summer holiday away from Westminster), so it’s not going to be a jam-packed few weeks in the Commons.

However, there could be a Cabinet reshuffle over the summer, with whoever bags the top job in the Tory Party likely to reward the MPs who backed them throughout the leadership race.

What Are The Candidates Promising? 

Boris Johnson 

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Johnson – who has been the bookies’ favourite throughout the leadership race – has run on a vow to pull the UK out of the EU on October 31 ‘deal or no-deal’. He has also promised tax cuts for high earners, raising the 40p threshold from £50,000 to £80,000. 

Jeremy Hunt 

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Hunt has said that while a no-deal Brexit is not his first choice, he would pull the UK out of the EU without a deal “with a heavy heart” if necessary. The former health secretary has also promised 1.5 million new homes over the next decade.