Leading Brexiteer Steve Baker has said he is considering a run to be prime minister.
The former minister said “people I deeply respect are telling me, even imploring me, to do it”.
Boris Johnson will announce his resignation as PM later today, sparking a Tory leadership contest.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, the Wycombe MP said: “The reality is some people I deeply respect are telling me, even imploring me, to do it, and so I must consider it seriously.
“The ConservativeHome poll keeps putting me in the top 10 and I respect that. I just beat Jeremy Hunt in their run-offs. I should respect that, respect Jeremy Hunt too.
“It would be wrong of me to take it lightly, but I am realistic that it seems to me quite improbable the ‘rebel commander’, as Guido Fawkes put it ,with no cabinet experience should win, but equally it would be wrong of me to lightly dismiss serious people saying I should be prime minister.”
Fleshing out his credentials on the BBC News channel, Baker added: “People will know that in the last seven of the 12 years I’ve been in parliament I have provided leadership and organisation through really massive crises, whether it’s been Brexit or Covid, race relations, net zero.
“So, of course, I’ve taken a lot of calls and meetings with potential leaders. Now I’m seriously thinking whether I should do it because, you know, I got into politics because I thought I wanted an MP I always agreed with, well maybe I’d like a prime minister that could be counted on to do what I thought best.
“So, I know what I’m looking for – fierce resolve, humility, integrity, a willingness to do what’s actually right for the long and short-term of this country.
“So, of course, I’m seriously considering standing because Conservative Home members consistently put me in their top 10, so I should respect them and take that seriously.”