Theresa May has told Conservative MPs that if they back her deal, she’ll step down. But, who might replace her as the UK’s Prime Minister?
Michael Gove: The prominent Brexit campaigner has run for leadership of the Tory party once before — in dramatic fashion. He ran Boris Johnson’s campaign for party leader in 2016, but withdrew his support for Johnson and declared his own candidacy before losing that race to May.
Gove is now the Environment Secretary and has aligned himself closely to May. He’s also previously voted in favor the prime minister’s Brexit deal in parliament.
David Lidington: May’s de facto deputy and ultra-loyalist is seen by many as the Prime Minister’s preferred option to continue her agenda, should she be forced to stand aside.
But the 62-year-old’s pro-Remain past could cause him trouble from Brexit-supporting ministers. He was Europe Minister from 2010 until 2016, before campaigning and voting for Britain to stay in the EU.
Boris Johnson: The former mayor of London has been a frequent thorn in May’s side, repeatedly stating his opposition to her Brexit plan and resigning as Foreign Secretary over the strategy last year.
Johnson has been linked with the top job many times and looked set to make a run in 2016, before Michael Gove jumped out in front of him and made a bid himself.
Those three are the frontrunners, but they likely won’t be the only names floated if May signals her intention to step down.
From the pro-Remain wing of the party, figures like former Home Secretary and current head of the Work and Pensions department Amber Rudd could consider a run. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has also held prominent roles in government under two Prime Ministers, and could lean towards making a move.
Several pro-Brexit MPs could also run for the job, especially if they fear another one-time Remain-backing figure would be the most likely candidate. Former Brexit secretaries David Davis and Dominic Raab both quit the post in protest at May’s approach, while hardline backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg is a favorite among grassroots Conservative members.
Brexit votes underway as Theresa May pledges to quit — live updates – CNN International