Factbox – Now UK’s Boris Johnson has quit, who could replace him?

By Andrew MacAskill and Kylie MacLellan

LONDON (Reuters) – Who could replace Boris Johnson as Britain’s prime minister? Below is a summary of those who have announced they want the job and others who could be in the frame after Johnson announced on Thursday he was resigning.

There is no clear favourite and the candidates are not listed in order of likely prospects. The rules of the Conservative Party leadership contest will be announced this week.



Elected to parliament for the first time in 2017, Badenoch has held junior ministerial jobs, including most recently minister for equalities, but has never served in cabinet.

A former Conservative member of the London Assembly, she has also served as vice-chair of the Conservative Party. Badenoch, 42, supported leaving the European Union in the 2016 referendum.


As attorney general, Braverman, 42, was heavily criticised by lawyers after the government sought to break international law over post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland.

She campaigned to leave the EU and served as a junior minister in the Brexit department under previous Prime Minister Theresa May, but resigned in protest at her proposed Brexit deal, saying it did not go far enough in breaking ties with the bloc.


The former foreign secretary, 55, finished second to Johnson in the 2019 leadership contest to replace May. He would offer a more serious and less controversial style of leadership after the turmoil of Johnson’s premiership.

Over the last two years, Hunt has used his experience as a former health secretary to chair parliament’s health select committee and has not been tarnished by having served in the current government.

Hunt said he voted to oust Johnson in a confidence vote last month that the prime minister narrowly won.

He has pledged tax cuts, including a cut to corporation tax to 15%. He says he favours cuts for businesses because they could help spur economic growth, while tax cuts for consumers might be inflationary.

Hunt supported remaining in the EU ahead of the 2016 vote.


Javid was the first cabinet minister to resign in protest over accusations that Johnson misled the public over what he knew about sexual harassment allegations against a Conservative lawmaker.

A former banker and a champion of free markets, Javid has served in a number of cabinet roles, most recently as health minister. He resigned as Johnson’s finance minister in 2020.

The son of Pakistani Muslim immigrant parents, he is an admirer of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and finished fourth in the 2019 party leadership contest.

Javid, 52, also said he would cut corporation tax to 15%, reverse a rise in National Insurance and bring forward a one pence tax in income tax to next year.

Javid supported remaining in the EU saying he feared the fallout from a leave vote would add to economic turbulence.


The former defence secretary was sacked by Johnson when he became prime minister after she endorsed his rival, Hunt, during the 2019 leadership contest.

Mordaunt, 49, was a passionate supporter of leaving the EU and said that she would aim to deliver the benefits of Brexit and recover from recent economic shocks such as the pandemic.

Currently a junior trade minister, Mordaunt called the COVID lockdown-breaking parties in government “shameful” and has said that if she is prime minister, leadership has to change to be less about the leader.


First elected to parliament in 2005, Shapps has been secretary of state for transport since Johnson took office in 2019. He previously held junior ministerial roles and was co-chair of the Conservative Party.

He has been a loyal defender of Johnson, often sent out to appear in the media on behalf of the government.

Writing in the Sunday Times, he said that as prime minister he would address the cost-of-living crisis and he would plan to hold an emergency budget in his first 100 days of office to cut taxes for the most vulnerable and give state support to firms with high levels of energy consumption.

He said he wanted to freeze a planned rise in corporation tax and also bring forward the cut in income tax.

Shapps, 53, supported remaining in the EU ahead of the 2016 vote.


Sunak announced his leadership bid on Friday with a campaign video in which he promised to confront the difficult economic backdrop with “honesty, seriousness and determination”, rather than piling the burden on future generations.

Sunak, 42, became finance minister in early 2020 and was praised for a COVID-19 economic rescue package, including a costly jobs retention programme that averted mass unemployment.

But he later faced criticism for not giving enough cost-of-living support to households. Revelations this year about his wealthy wife’s non-domiciled tax status, and a fine he received for breaking COVID lockdown rules, have damaged his standing.

His tax-and-spend budget last year put Britain on course for its biggest tax burden since the 1950s, undermining his claims to favour lower taxes.

Sunak voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.


The chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, and a former soldier who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, he is relatively untested because he has never served in cabinet.

Tugendhat, 49, has been a regular critic of Johnson and would offer his party a clean break with previous governments.

He says he is a low tax Conservative who didn’t support the rise in National Insurance, and has said fuel tax is “crippling” for many people.

He voted to remain in the EU.


The newly appointed finance minister impressed as vaccines minister when Britain had one of the world’s fastest rollouts of COVID shots.

Zahawi’s personal story as a former refugee from Iraq who came to Britain as a child sets him apart from other contenders.

He co-founded polling company YouGov before entering parliament in 2010. His last job was as education secretary.

Zahawi, 55, says the burden of tax is too high, and he will lower taxes for individuals, families and businesses.

He supported leaving the EU.



Priti Patel, 50, has been interior minister since Johnson became prime minister in 2019, and she stayed in government as scandal brought Johnson down, citing the importance of her job to national security.

She was international development minister under May, but was fired following a scandal over unauthorised meetings with the Israeli government that breached the ministerial code.

She is known for hardline stance on immigration and is a supporter of Brexit.


The foreign secretary has been the darling of the Conservative Party’s grassroots and has regularly topped polls of party members carried out by the website Conservative Home.

Truss has a carefully cultivated public image and was photographed in a tank last year, echoing a famous 1986 photo of Thatcher.

She spent the first two years of Johnson’s premiership as international trade secretary and is now in charge of dealing with the EU over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, where she has taken an increasingly tough line in negotiations.

Truss, 46, initially campaigned against Brexit but after the 2016 referendum said she had changed her mind.