Politics

High-noon coronation for new Tory leader

The winner of the battle for the Conservative Party crown – widely expected to be Liz Truss – will be unveiled in a 12.30pm ceremony in two weeks, the party’s co-chairman has announced.

In a letter to Tory MPs and peers headed “Leadership Announcement: Arrangements”, Andrew Stephenson urged them to apply early for tickets for the event on Monday 5 September.

“I am pleased to confirm that the result will be announced at 12.30pm on Monday 5 September 2022 in a central Westminster venue, with attendees required to be seated by 12.15pm,” Mr Stephenson wrote.

The letter sent from the Tory Party's co-chairman to MPs and peers
Image:
The letter sent to MPs and peers

The coronation of the new leader is on the day MPs return to the Commons after the summer recess.

It is expected that the new prime minister will not take over from Boris Johnson until the following day and then clash with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 7 September.

In his letter, Mr Stephenson also urged Tory MPs to attend the party’s final leadership hustings between Ms Truss, who is the hot favourite, and Rishi Sunak in London on Wednesday 31 August, promising a reception afterwards as an incentive to attend.

Mr Stephenson’s letter began: “With the result of the Conservative Party leadership contest due to be announced a fortnight from today, I am aware that many colleagues are keenly interested in arrangements for the announcement of the result, and to know how to apply to attend it in person.”

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He said the location of the ceremony would be announced to those attending no more than 48 hours in advance for security purposes.

MPs wishing to attend would be prioritised and provision was being made for peers to attend as well, he added.

In 2019, when Mr Johnson defeated Jeremy Hunt, the result was announced at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, opposite the Houses of Parliament.

When David Cameron beat David Davis in 2005, the event was at the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly.

This time, Mr Stephenson said seating would be limited and provision must also be made for the media, staff from the two leadership campaign teams, senior Conservative Party officials and others, so for MPs and peers, it will be first-come-first-served.

Appealing for a big turnout from MPs at the final hustings, Mr Stephenson wrote: “This will again be widely attended by the media and by thousands of Conservative members and activists from across the country.”

He concluded with this offer, which some MPs may find appealing: “I will be hosting a reception for parliamentarians following the hustings to which all colleagues are warmly invited to attend.”

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