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Esther McVey vows to run for Conservative leader: So who are the other runners and riders?

Theresa May has announced she will step down as Tory leader - but it remains when she will step aside. Credit: PA

After Theresa May announced her departure, a number of leading Conservative MPs have expressed interest in taking the keys to Number 10.

No date for her departure has been set, but it appears parliamentarians are setting out the stool about their ideas for the country.

Here's a shortlist of some of the Tory leadership hopefuls who have and could throw their hat in the ring if Mrs May steps down.

  • Esther McVey
Esther McVey announced on Thursday she would stand to be the next Tory leader. Credit: PA

The former work and pension secretary quit the prime minister's cabinet in November over her Brexit deal, and told TalkRadio she would stand on Thursday she would stand to be leader.

She said: "I have always said quite clearly if I got enough support from my colleagues, yes I would.

"Now people have come forward and I have got that support, so I will be going forward."

She could win support from backbench Leavers as an ardent Brexiteer.

  • Dominic Raab
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab might throw his hat into the Conservative party leadership. Credit: PA

The former Brexit secretary is an outlier to take over from the Prime Minister but is thought to harbour ambitions for the role.

On Sunday, a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Times was published, which has been interpreted by some as his pitch for the Conservative leadership.

Mr Raab, 44, has been the MP for Esher and Walton since he was elected in 2010.

  • Andrea Leadsom
Andrea Leadsom has held a number of Cabinet positions. Credit: PA

The 55-year-old unsuccessfully ran for the leadership against Theresa May in the 2016 contest.

Mrs Leadsom has now admitted she is "seriously considering" a second tilt at Number 10.

Mrs Leadsom said she believed a "determined Brexiteer" could have taken Britain out the EU by now.

Leader of the Commons since June, Mrs Leadsom has been the MP for South Northamptonshire since 2010 and has held a number of Cabinet roles.

  • Justine Greening
Former Cabinet minister Justine Greening compared the current Tory leadership to 'captains on the Titanic'. Credit: PA

Former Cabinet minister Justine Greening has launched a series of attacks at the current leadership, comparing them to "captains on the Titanic".

Speaking to ITV News last month, she confirmed she would run to become leader to ensure there was a centrist candidate on the ballot.

Speaking on the Acting Prime Minister podcast, the former education secretary said: "I'd consider it...I don't know when the leadership contest will happen but for me it's always been a vehicle for changing Britain for the better, simple as that."

  • Amber Rudd
Amber Rudd has made a return to the frontbenches. Credit: PA

Amber Rudd made a return to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in November after her resignation as Home Secretary earlier this year following the Windrush scandal.

The Remainer has refused to answer questions on whether she will run for the Conservative leadership.

The Remainer has significant support on the backbenches, having held a number of Cabinet positions.

  • Michael Gove
Michael Gove suffered badly during the last leadership campaign. Credit: PA

The Environment Secretary had a bruising experience in the last Tory leadership race but he is now seen as the favourite to replace Mrs May, largely due to his Brexiteer credentials.

In June 2016, Mr Gove, who was campaign manager for Boris Johnson’s drive to succeed David Cameron, withdrew his support on the morning Mr Johnson was due to declare and threw his own hat in the ring instead.

The Brexiter could win over support from grassroots Conservative party members, who would have the final say on any possible leader.

He came third in the first round of voting, trailing behind ultimate winner Mrs May and Andrea Leadsom.

Mr Gove, 51, was born in Edinburgh, studied English at Oxford and was a journalist before becoming an MP.

Despite speculation he could take the job, he told reporters on Sunday it was "not the time to change the captain of the ship".

  • Boris Johnson
The colourful Old Etonian was one of the key players in the 2017 Leave campaign. Credit: PA

Prominent Brexiteer and former foreign secretary Mr Johnson has been a leading voice of opposition to Mrs May’s Brexit plan.

The colourful Old Etonian was one of the key players in the 2017 Leave campaign and resigned from the Cabinet following the Chequers summit in July.

He was heavily tipped as a successor to Mr Cameron but ruled himself out of the 2016 leadership contest after Mr Gove made a last-minute bid for the top job.

  • Sajid Javid
In a magazine interview in December, Mr Javid sought to signal his leadership ambitions by arguing that he wanted the Tories to be the party of social mobility. Credit: PA

In a magazine interview in December, Mr Javid sought to signal his leadership ambitions by arguing that he wanted the Tories to be the party of social mobility.

Javid, 49, backed Remain in the referendum but has since positioned himself as a firm Leaver.

He became the first home secretary from an ethnic minority background when he was appointed in April 2018.

The son of a Pakistani bus driver from Rochdale, he was a managing director at Deutsche Bank before becoming MP from Bromsgrove in 2010.

  • Penny Mordaunt
She pledged her support for Andrea Leadsom in the 2016 Conservative leadership contest. Credit: PA

Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt is one of the Cabinet’s most prominent Brexiteers.

She pledged her support for Andrea Leadsom in the 2016 Conservative leadership contest.

Ms Mordaunt, 46, has been an MP for Portsmouth North since 2010 and is a Royal Navy reservist.

In 2014, she appeared on reality TV show Splash!