FORMER Tory chief whip Mark Harper is gearing up to run for the party leadership when Theresa May quits, The Sun can reveal.
Friends of the MP, who was sacked by Mrs May when she moved into No10, have been trying to drum up support for his leadership bid, according to Sun columnist James Forsyth.
And privately the MP for the Forest of Dean has not denied that he is eyeing up the top job.
A former loyalist, Mr Harper voted against the Brexit deal and tore into the PM for “misleading” MPs over it.
Westminster is awash with leadership plots after Mrs May promised not to fight the next election – due in 2022.
And some ministers now believe that she could call time on her premiership this summer after delivering Brexit.
One minister compared the looming race to the 1967 Grand National when a crowded field led to a pile up at the 23rd fence.
The race ended in the 100-1 outside Foinavon clinching victory.
Many Tory MPs are desperate for Mrs May to stand down, as they think a new fresh face needs to lead the party and take on the threat posed by Jeremy Corbyn.
She only survived after promising her MPs that she would quit before the next scheduled general election in 2022.
But Mr Harper faces stiff competition in the looming leadership race.
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And so is Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, a leading Remainer in the Cabinet.
Mr Harper faces competition as Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid and Amber Rudd are expected to run[/caption]
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