Next Prime Minister: Surprise candidate to replace Boris Johnson revealed

Boris Johnson's Conservative support discussed by Raab

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Consecutive crises have weighed down Mr Johnson’s Government for months now, with controversy centred primarily on parties held at Downing Street. As public opinion resoundingly mounts against him, it has provided Labour with its most significant polling lead since 2013, leaving some Tories anxious to correct the party’s path. Their solution is a changing of the guard, with potential replacements for Mr Johnson steadily emerging from the political woodwork.

Who will replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister?

When Mr Johnson received his public mandate in 2019, he stepped into Downing Street with ambitious hopes to outlast Margaret Thatcher’s 11 years in office.

Now, however, it appears more likely he will follow in the steps of Theresa May, as he risks folding within three years.

Bookmakers have curated a list of people they believe could replace him, and one overlooked candidate is steadily gathering steam.

According to Ladbrokes, the most popular potential replacement is Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is on odds of 11/8 to take over.

Increasingly popular Tory Liz Truss is just behind him on 11/2, followed by Mr Johnson’s former leadership rival Jeremy Hunt on 7/1.

An outlier on the list, Tom Tugendhat, recently took fourth place on the list behind them with odds of 12/1.

Mr Tugendhat is a comparatively inexperienced MP with more support than some Conservative peers currently holding ministerial roles.

He assumed the constituency of Tonbridge and Malling in 2015, taking over from John Stanley, who had served there since 1974.

In his nearly seven years as an MP, Mr Tugendhat has not held a ministerial position but has served as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee since 2017.

During his chairmanship, he has cultivated a reputation as a “China hawk” and was one of five MPs sanctioned by the country in 2021 over public criticism of Chinese policies.

Over the last few weeks, Ladbrokes has slashed his odds, meaning he has quickly jumped through the ranks.

Growing interest saw him surge from 16/1 in early January to his current placement.

His odds make him a more popular choice for next PM than three ministers, including Michael Gove and Sajid Javid.

The odds provided by Ladbrokes have Penny Mordaunt, the trade secretary, just behind Mr Tugendhat on odds of 14/1.

Serial cabinet member Michael Gove, currently the minister for levelling up, is in joint last place with Mr Javid.

They are level with odds of 16/1 each, despite holding senior public facing roles.

The Ladbrokes polling shows that people believe one of these contenders could replace Mr Johnson this year.

The company has released odds of 1/4 he will leave office by the end of 2022.

Should he hang on, however, the odds steadily extend to 13/2 in 2023 and slim down again to 5/1 for 2024 or later.

Conservatives are awaiting a report from Sue Gray, a senior civil servant in charge of investigating the alleged Downing Street parties of 2020 and 2021.

Her summary is due in the next few days and will finally confirm the facts of what happened at Downing Street after a revelatory few months.

Results could lead to significant repercussions for those involved, the Prime Minister included.

During his January 12 apology, he claimed he “implicitly” believed the May 2020 party was a work event.

Should Mr Johnson found that he did know it was a party, it would mean he misled the House of Commons.

Misleading the house is a cardinal offence for a sitting MP and demands resignation.

At present, however, fears are growing that people won’t get to see a detailed account of the report.

Education minister Nadhim Zahawi said this morning that the Government would not publish the full report, only Sue Gray’s “findings”.

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