Seven up: Contest to replace Theresa May as British prime minister gets crowded
Updated : 2019-05-27 06:50:06
The contest to replace Theresa May as British prime minister hotted up on Saturday with seven candidates now throwing their hat into the ring, saying they would succeed where she failed by taking a deeply-divided Britain out of the European Union. May announced on Friday she was quitting over her failure to deliver Brexit, raising the prospect of a new leader who could seek a more divisive split with the EU and lead to confrontation with the bloc or a possible parliamentary election. May failed three times to get a divorce deal she agreed with the EU through parliament because of deep, long-term divisions in the Conservative Party over Europe. It meant the original Brexit date of March 29 has been extended until October 31 to see if any compromise could be reached. British health minister Matt Hancock, ex-Brexit minister Dominic Raab and former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom on Saturday joined an increasingly crowded field to replace May. Former foreign minister Boris Johnson, current foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and former work and pensions minister Esther McVey had already announced they would stand. About a dozen contenders in total are thought to be considering a tilt at the leadership with newspapers reporting that environment minister Michael Gove was expected to announce his candidacy on Sunday.