Home secretary Theresa May has formally announced that she will run in the race to be next Conservative Party leader.
Commons leader Chris Grayling and housing minister Brandon Lewis have already pledged support for May.
May said: “Following last week’s referendum, our country needs strong, proven leadership to steer us through this period of economic and political uncertainty, and to negotiate the best possible terms as we leave the European Union.
“Some need to be told that what the government does isn’t a game, it’s a serious business that has real consequences for peoples lives.”
Speaking before May formally announced her intention to run housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis said he saw her as the obvious person for the top job.
He said: “For me it’s a no brainer. We are not choosing a leader like the Labour party. We are choosing the next prime minister. And at this time, with tough negotiations in Europe, Theresa’s track record and ability to take on difficult things – like Abu Qatada and Hillsborough – and her leadership skills are what is needed.
“Boris is great. He was a great mayor and we benefit from that presence. But we are choosing the next PM.”
May joins Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Liam Fox and Stephen Crabb in the race while Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement later today.