Key dates in the Tory leadership race – from hustings to winner’s announcement

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The Conservative leadership contest has entered its final phase this week, with the new leader to be announced on Monday.

The two candidates vying to become the next prime minister, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, have already competed in 11 hustings, with the last one due to take place on Wednesday in London.

Most party members will have already cast their vote, but the two leadership hopefuls will be hoping to win over those who are still undecided in the few days left.

The vote will close on Friday September 2.

Here is a timeline of the key dates in the race:

The 12th and final official hustings will take place in London from 7pm to 10pm on Wednesday.

The event will be streamed online.

The Foreign Secretary and former chancellor are expected to once again lock horns over tax cuts and their competing visions for the UK economy.

In particular, the two candidates will likely discuss how they plan to help households with the cost-of-living crisis, after Ofgem confirmed an 80% rise in the energy price cap on Friday.

The price cap rise means the average household’s yearly bill will go from £1,971 to £3,549 from October.

Conservative leadership bid
Liz Truss during a hustings event in Norwich (Joe Giddens/PA)

Ballots were sent to Tory party members via post between August 1 and August 5.

The vote will close at 5pm on Friday September 2.

Ballots received after that time will not be counted, the Conservative Party website states.

– September 5 2022

The candidate who receives the most votes from Tory party members will become the new leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister.

The winner of the race will be announced on Monday September 5 – the date when Parliament returns – by Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs.

The new leader is expected to make a speech following the announcement and then spend the rest of the day finalising their choices for Cabinet and wider ministerial roles and writing their first prime ministerial speech.

Boris Johnson will remain Prime Minister until the following day.

Conservative leadership bid
Rishi Sunak speaks during a hustings event in Norwich (Joe Giddens/PA)

Mr Johnson is expected to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation on September 6.

According to the reports, though, the Queen may stay at Balmoral Castle in Scotland rather than head to London for her major constitutional duty.

Under the reported plans, Mr Johnson and the new prime minister would head to Balmoral Castle for the ceremony instead.

Mr Johnson would formally tender his resignation, and the Queen would then appoint his successor, where she or he will be invited to form a Government.

After a new PM has been appointed, the Court Circular will record that “the Prime Minister kissed hands on appointment”.

This is not literally the case, and it is usually a handshake. In fact, the actual kissing of hands will take place later at the Privy Council.

Later that day, the new prime minister will be expected to make their first speech outside 10 Downing Street and enter the building for the first time as PM.

After that, she or he will be expected to make senior Cabinet appointments and hold meetings with senior civil servants to be given nuclear codes and for updates on matters of national security.

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