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Britain’s Conservatives to take first vote on leadership candidates

Britain's Conservatives will hold a first round of voting on Thursday as they choose a successor to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Britain’s Conservatives will hold a first round of voting on Thursday as they choose a successor to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Ten candidates have put their names forward to succeed May, with former foreign minister Boris Johnson the favourite. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid are also considered frontrunners.

In Thursday’s secret ballot, set to take place between 11am and 1pm (1000 GMT and 1200 GMT), candidates must receive the backing of at least 17 other Conservative lawmakers to proceed to the next round.

It’s thought ex-work and pensions minister Esther McVey, former development minister Rory Stewart and former leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom may be forced to quit the race.

While ex-Brexit minister Dominic Raab and Health Minister Matt Hancock are believed to have enough support to make it to the next round, they are not likely to make it any further.

Another ballot is set to take place on Monday when candidates must secure the backing of 33 Conservative lawmakers. Voting will continue throughout the week until the candidates are whittled down to two.

The party’s 160,000 members will then decide on the winner, with the result expected in the week beginning July 22. That person is then expected to take over from May as prime minister.

May officially stepped down last week after failing to win parliamentary approval for the deal she negotiated for Britain to leave the European Union.

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