Tom Tugendhat announces he will run for the Conservative leadership if Boris Johnson toppled

Tom Tugendhat has said that he will “go for it” and run for the Conservative leadership if Boris Johnson is forced out of No 10. This makes Mr Tugendhat the first MP to put his name forward as a potential replacement for Johnson.

Mr Tugendhat is the chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee and a veteran of the Iraq and Afghan wars. He said that if fellow Tories give him their backing to join the race, he will “go for it”.

Favourites in any Conservative leadership contest are widely understood to be Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. But they remain bound by collective responsibility. Jeremy Hunt, another possible frontrunner, has said it would “take a lot” to persuade hime to challenge again.

Mr Tugendhat, part of the centre-right of the Conservative party and a well-known critic of Mr Johnson, said: “It’s one of those questions that I know some of my colleagues are coy about and I don’t understand why”.

Speaking to Times Radio, the MP for Tonbridge and Malling since 2015, added: “I don’t think you should be embarrassed to want to serve your country, I was very proud to serve my country. Of course I want to have an influence that helps to shape the country for the best”.