Tory leadership frontrunner now has a 34-point lead over her rival, a poll suggests, as party membership voting begins.
Second place in the first ballot to succeed Boris Johnson – plus a shock poll – has drawn the trade minister into the spotlight.
Boris Johnson ally accuses Rishi Sunak's team of engaging in "the dark arts" to get Jeremy Hunt on the ballot.
Eleven candidates initially wanted to succeed Boris Johnson.
"The whole thing is an absolute farce," Ian King said.
Eleven candidates have so far declared that they want to replace Boris Johnson in No.10.
A sideways look at the would-be prime ministers.
The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says public spending will have to be slashed to pay for it.
The Tory leadership hopeful said they would have wide appeal in the same way as Tony Blair and John Prescott did.
Both men tried and failed to become prime minister three years ago.
About Jeremy Hunt
According to his website: "In December 2005 he was appointed Shadow Minister for Disabled People, where he successfully campaigned for the BBC to increase the amount of subtitling on its programmes. He also campaigned strongly for simplification of the benefits system for disabled people and individual social care budgets. In July 2007 he was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport where he has campaigned for more philanthropy for the arts, local TV, superfast broadband, a schools Olympics and a strengthened domestic tourism industry. "In May 2010 Jeremy was appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport in the new Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition. In September 2012 he was appointed Secretary of State for Health in the Prime Minister's Cabinet reshuffle. "Jeremy divides his time between Westminster and his constituency home in Farnham. He married his wife Lucia in July 2009 and they have a son and a daughter."