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How will Conservatives choose PM May's successor?

How will Conservatives choose PM May
Highlights

Britain's ruling Conservative Party will decide the country's next Prime Minister in late July - a contest that will bring in a new leader who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.

Britain's ruling Conservative Party will decide the country's next Prime Minister in late July - a contest that will bring in a new leader who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.

Theresa May resigns as the party's leader on Friday, having failed to deliver Brexit on schedule or find a way to get parliament to approve her exit plan.

May's announcement does not trigger a parliamentary election. So far, 11 candidates are running to replace her. The winner of the contest will become party leader and Prime Minister.

Here is how that process, which is overseen by an internal party group known as the 1922 Committee, is expected to work:

Candidates putting themselves forward for the leadership must be backed by eight other Conservative lawmakers. This is higher than in previous contests, after the committee made rule changes designed to cull weaker candidates.

Conservatives lawmakers then hold several rounds of votes to whittle down the number of candidates. Each time, they vote in a secret ballot. They are allowed to vote by proxy if they are not available to vote in person.

Voting will take place in a room in parliament, which will be set up with voting booths. The colour of the ballot paper is chosen the day before and will be different for each round. Completed papers will be placed in a metal ballot box.

The 1922 Committee will host two rounds of hustings in parliament for candidates, the first on June 11 and 12, ahead of the first vote, and the second on June 17.

The final two candidates are put to a postal ballot of the wider Conservative Party membership, with the winner named the new leader.

The party said it wanted to complete this stage in the week beginning July 22. The party has around 160,000 members. It said the first membership hustings event would take place on June 22.

In her resignation speech, May said she would serve as Prime Minister until the leadership contest was concluded. She will also remain acting Conservative Party leader during that time.

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