Former finance minister Rishi Sunak, the first Hindu to hold the post, was the first heavyweight to enter the fray.
Sunak, who lost ground after a series of scandals surrounding his Indian billionaire wife’s favorable tax status, is among the favorites to succeed Johnson.
A former Goldman Sachs analyst and hedge fund employee married to the daughter of an Indian tycoon, Sunak, whose grandparents immigrated to England from northern India in the 1960s, amassed a substantial personal fortune before becoming a deputy in 2015.
An advocate for Brexit, she was appointed finance minister in 2020, a key post amid the fight against the pandemic, but has been criticized for doing too little to combat the cost-of-living crisis.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss became very popular within the ranks of the Conservative Party without being too critical of the so-called “woke” protest movements.
The 46-year-old was appointed diplomatic chief as a reward for her work as international trade minister during Britain’s exit from the European Union.
In that capacity, the top free trade advocate, who voted to remain in the EU before switching sides, managed to hammer out important post-Brexit trade deals.
His threats to invade Ukraine or break the EU deal on Northern Ireland appeal to some conservatives. Although he already has the public support of several delegates, he has yet to officially announce his candidacy.
Former defense minister and current foreign secretary Benny Mordant, 49, was one of the figures of the pro-Brexit campaign in 2016.
He announced his candidacy on Sunday. Considered to be a good orator, he is estimated to be a united candidate who can garner support from various sections of the Conservative Party.
Former health minister Sajid Javid, who announced his candidacy on Saturday, was among the government and Conservative Party heavyweights who resigned on Tuesday in protest against the prime minister.
The son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver, he was a distinguished banker before becoming Johnson’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. He resigned in 2020 and returned to government a year later.
Javid, 52, voted in 2016 to stay in the EU on economic grounds, but later joined the Brexit cause.
The newly appointed finance minister is respected among Britons after the success of the anti-Covid vaccine campaign he oversaw.
Born in Baghdad in 1967 to Kurdish parents, he moved to England at the age of nine. There, he founded Ugov, a market research firm, in 2000, leaving the board 10 years later to enter politics and being elected vice president.
He was appointed Minister of Education in September 2021.
Former Foreign and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, 55, lost the leadership of the Conservative Party to Boris Johnson in 2019.
Hunt, a colleague of Johnson and former Conservative prime minister David Cameron at Oxford University and professor of English in Japan, was one of the few people to openly challenge the prime minister in June’s no-confidence vote.
However, many consider him unattractive.