Last week David Cameron was still Prime Minister and the Labour Party was still intact. This week politics has turned into a Game of Thrones re-enactment. Who are all these challengers, and where did they come from?

When Cameron resigned and effectively told his successor to sort all this mess out instead, there were already people waiting to step into the vacuum. The more cynical among us might even think the referendum was called just to resolve an internal spat. The nominations are in, and one of these people is going to be the next Prime Minister (at least for a while):

Boris Johnson

Position: Ex-London Mayor, MP for Uxbridge

Stance: Who knows anymore?

Boris was going to be on this list, but as I was writing it he trolled everyone with the mother of all punchlines:

Boris Johnson will not be running for Prime Minister or Party leadership.

Theresa May

Position: Home Office

Stance: “Brexit means Brexit”, was in favour of remaining but accepts result.

During the campaign, Theresa May pulled the canniest political move of all: not saying anything. As someone who avoided the mudslinging and bridge burning of the referendum she can market herself as a unifying candidate. As Home Secretary she’s been in charge of managing immigration and has pushed for greater surveillance powers.  If successful, she says there will be no election until 2020 and things will carry on “as normal”.

Michael Gove

Position: Justice Secretary

Stance: Pro-Brexit, prominent Leave campaigner.


You may remember Gove as a wildly unpopular education secretary, or as the justice secretary working to abolish the human rights act. Recently he and Boris were bezzies on the Leave campaign when he famously said “the country’s had enough of experts”, but now the friendship’s over and Gove is launching his own bid. Newly minted bookies’ favourite, but will the electorate forget how much they used to make fun of him?

Andrea Leadsom

Position: Energy Minister

Stance: Pro-Brexit, prominent Leave campaigner.

You may remember her as the constantly smiling woman from the Referendum debates. In 2015 she was put in charge of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, although she has previously come out against wind farms and European regulations on renewable energy.

Stephen Crabb

Position: Department of Work and Pensions Minister

Stance: Grudging acceptance of result.

Crabb was among the first to launch his bid (running on a joint ticket with Business Secretary Sajid Javid), but in his speech he managed to say very little about what he actually wants to happen. He took over the Work and Pensions post from Iain Duncan Smith when he resigned to campaign for the referndum. He’s come under attack for previous stances, such as his opposition to gay marriage and his connections to Christian pressure group CARE.

Liam Fox

Position: MP for North Somerset

Stance: Pro-Brexit.

Liam Fox was another of the early announcers. He hasn’t actually been involved in the Cabinet since 2011, when he was forced to resign as Defence Secretary after letting his mate work at the Ministry of Defence and attend meetings with foreign dignitaries without security clearance or even declaring his role. Now he wants to be PM and negotiate exit terms with the European Union.


Jeremy Corbyn lost 12 members of his Shadow Cabinet in 24 hours and rehired more in the same day. There’s a leadership challenge on the horizon but nobody’s made any official announcements…today.

Tim Farron (aka the one after Nick Clegg) says the Lib Dems will run at the next election on a pro-EU stance.

Nicola Sturgeon has not faced leadership challenges and seems to be the only person with her shit together acting on some kind of plan. She’s already met with EU leaders in Brussels and is planning for a second independence referendum for Scotland.

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