Following his final emotional speech at the Conservation Party Conference, Michael Howard, the current leader, formally notified the parliamentary party of his resignation. A series of secret ballots by Tory MPs - beginning on Tuesday, October 18th will whittle the shortlist down to two finalists to go before a vote of the entire grassroots' party membership of approximately 300,000. Five candidates are so far certain to stand - David Davis, David Cameron, Ken Clark, Liam Fox and Malcolm Rifkind - Theresa May, the party's culture spokesman, has also yet to say whether she will stand.
Previous leaders, William Hague and Ian Duncan-Smith, as well as former Prime Minister John Major - all now in great demand as keynote speakers for corporate events - know the challenges that lie ahead for the winner.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2017