Graham Brady, UK lawmaker and chairman of the 1922 Committee, leaves after speaking to the media outside the Houses of Parliament in London, on Oct. 20, 2022. Image Credit: Bloomberg

London: Candidates competing to become Britain’s next prime minister will need the backing of 100 Conservative Party lawmakers to get on the ballot on Monday, organisers said.

If two candidates emerge, they will go to an online vote of members of the wider Conservative Party, with the winner declared by next Friday, Graham Brady, the Tory Member of Parliament who heads the influential panel that sets rules on leadership contests, told reporters in Parliament on Thursday. There are currently 357 Conservative MPs, meaning a maximum of three will be able to run.

Nominations close on Monday, when any ballots necessary among MPs will also be conducted, Brady said. MPs will whittle down the candidates to a final two. An indicative vote will then be taken among MPs, before the candidates are put to grassroots members in a deciding online ballot, with the result due to be announced on October 28.

But in reality, whoever finishes second in the indicative vote is likely to face enormous pressure to pull out, meaning grassroots members wouldn’t get a say and the UK could have a new prime minister on Monday.

Truss said Thursday she was quitting as prime minister after a tumultuous and brief period in office in which she announced an economic package that roiled the financial markets before sacking her finance minister and backtracking on most of her planned tax measures. By next Friday, she’ll have served for 52 days - the shortest ever period in office for a British premier.