Deputy Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt today became the ninth MP to run to replace the defenestrated Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
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Mordaunt, a member of the British Parliament since 2010, announced her decision to enter the race for 10 Downing Street via the social network Twitter.
"Our leadership needs to change. It needs to focus a little less on the leader, and a lot more on the problems in the ship", wrote the MP, alluding to the whole country.
Murdaunt brings to nine the number of contenders to replace Johnson, who was forced to resign last Thursday after a series of scandals that called into question his moral authority, integrity and leadership ability.
The day before, the newly appointed Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Transport Minister Grant Shapps, and former Health Ministers Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt entered the race.
The list, to which other names such as Chancellor Liz Truss and Home Affairs Minister Priti Patel could be added, is completed so far by Rishi Sunak, who headed the Economy portfolio in Johnson's cabinet until he resigned last Wednesday, Attorney General Suella Braverman, and MPs Tom Tugendhat and Kemi Badenoch.
According to internal rules, each candidate needs to have the backing of at least eight of his or her co-religionists in Parliament in order to participate in the leadership contest.
In a first phase, members of the conservative bench vote for the aspirants, and those who receive less than five percent of the votes will fall by the wayside.
The rounds will continue until the top two MPs are left standing, who will then be subject to the scrutiny of the entire party membership through a postal ballot.
According to Bob Blackman, an officer on the executive committee of the 1922 Committee, nominations will close on Tuesday evening, followed by a process to narrow candidates down to a final two by July 21.
Johnson will continue as interim prime minister until the election of his replacement, a process that could extend until September to allow time for candidates to do their proselytizing work.