REMAINER Amber Rudd has admitted she could run to be Tory leader – as hopefuls kickstart their own campaigns for No10.
The Work and Pensions boss said she was not planning a bid for the top job at the moment but she was leaving “the door slightly ajar” in case she changes her mind later on.
Theresa May has said she will step down as PM when her deal is passed through the Commons, but no one knows when that will be or even if it’s possible.
Ms Rudd, who is a long-standing ally of the PM and who stood in for her in TV debated in the 2017 election, told BBC Radio 5 Live today on the leadership race: “I don’t have a plan for that.
“I’m not planning to run. I have kept the door slightly ajar but I’m not committed to it at the moment.”
But as a key Remainer in the fight against a No Deal Brexit in the past few months, she would likely come up against fierce opposition from members and her Brexiteer opponents.
Instead Ms Rudd hinted today she would play a ‘kingmaker’ role – lending her support to her favourite candidate.
“I’m not supporting anybody at the moment,” she told presenter Emma Barnett. “What matters to me is the policies any leadership candidate would have.
“We have to ensure that passionate, modernising conservatism is a part of any leadership campaign – that’s what I’ll be testing leadership candidates on.”
Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt are all set to run for leader whenever Mrs May does step down.
And they will likely be joined by half a dozen others or more who will throw their hat into the ring.
MPs will narrow down the choices to just two, who will then fight out against each other for the final vote with the Tory membership.
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But Ms Rudd said some of Boris’ choice of words weren’t appropriate and added it would be “an area we would certainly want to test him on”.
The pair disagree over the best way to leave the EU, she stressed.
“We have to do it in a way that protects the economy and jobs.”
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