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This man looks set to be the Prime Minister of the UK

Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to step down last week.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A GROUP OF Conservative MPs have banded together to “Stop Boris” as former London mayor Boris Johnson has become the favourite to become the Prime Minister of the UK.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to step down last week in the wake of the Brexit vote result.

Johnson, a leader of the Leave campaign, is said to have 100 MPs backing his bid to replace David Cameron as leader of the country. The race for the leadership of the party officially opens today.

However, that has mobilised no fewer than seven other candidates: Home Secretary Theresa May is the front-runner according to a YouGov poll which puts her on 31% support of Conservative voters to Johnson’s 24%. Despite that poll, Johnson remains the favourite to win the contest, with bookies offering him at 5/4. May is coming in at 11/8.

May has around 80 backers, while Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb has 20 MPs in his corner. Crabb is running alongside Business Secretary Sajid Javid as part of a Prime Minister-Chancellor “dream ticket”.

Three other members of government are also expected to run; Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who resigned after it emerged he had allowed a friend sit in on 57% of his MoD meetings, is also expected to throw his hat in the ring.

Follow the money

The Telegraph reports that Johnson has the backing of key Conservative donors, which will help him once the campaign gets under way.

Nominations close at noon tomorrow, and the new leader is expected to be announced on 9 September.

Pro-EU finance minister George Osborne, long seen as a possible Cameron successor, has ruled himself out.

If more than two candidates stand, Tory MPs will vote next week to whittle down the field to two nominees, before the new leader is chosen by a postal ballot of party members, who currently number around 150,000.

Critics have questioned whether the Leave camp – and Johnson in particular – has any idea how to manage the unprecedented situation left by last week’s vote.

“He has still to offer anything like a concrete plan on how he would negotiate the post-Brexit future,” wrote former BBC political editor Nick Robinson.

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Labour

Labour MP resignations Source: Dominic Lipinski

Meanwhile, across the aisle, Jeremy Corbyn has defiantly insisted he will not stand down, despite losing a confidence motion by 172 MPs to 40.

I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60 percent of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning,” he said in a statement.

“Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy,” he added.

In the sign of the depth of the crisis, the Scottish National Party, which has 54 seats in the House of Commons to Labour’s 229, announced it would make a bid to take over as the official opposition party in parliament.

“The official opposition must be ‘prepared to assume office’. Labour can’t anymore,” wrote SNP lawmaker Peter Wishart on Twitter, citing parliamentary practice.

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