Stephen Crabb

Work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb has become the first Conservative MP to officially announce his candidacy for the new party leader and Prime Minister.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire MP said he will form a "blue collar dream team", teaming up with current business secretary Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The 43-year old's candidacy is understood to be supported by Simon Hoare, Maria Caulfield and Craig Williams.

Mr Crabb became a Cabinet minister in 2014. Following a Cabinet reshuffle, he was appointed Secretary of State for Wales. But his political career was advanced further just three months ago, when he succeeded Iain Duncan-Smith as Work and pensions secretary following Mr Duncan-Smith's resignation.

Timeline

The party's influential 1922 Committee recommended a timeline which would see the new PM in place at the start of September, ahead of the October deadline suggested by the outgoing David Cameron.

Under the timeline, nominations will be open on Wednesday 29 June and closed at midday on Thursday.

David Cameron on Friday announced he would resign following the Brexit vote, and recommended a new Prime Minister should be in place before the Conservative Party conference in October.

He said the country needed "fresh leadership" in negotiations over the country's withdrawal from the European Union.

Whereas Labour allowed its members to vote for any candidate that put themselves forward, the 1922 Committee will instead use the same system that saw David Cameron elected leader of the Tory part in 2005. Conservative MPs reduce a list of nominees to two candidates, who will then be voted on by Conservative party members.

Boris Johnson is widely tipped as the front runner, given the idea that the next Prime Minister should be someone who wanted to leave the EU. Chancellor George Osborne, who many had expected to challenge for the leadership in 2020, before the turmoil of the EU referendum started, has put himself out of the running.

Mr Osborne said: "I don't think I can be the person to bring this party together at the moment."

But he has suggester that the next Prime Minister could still be someone from the Remain camp. Some believe home secretary Theresa May will run for the leadership. And according to a poll conducted by YouGov for The Times, she is the favoured candidate with 31% of Conservative members, compared with 24% for Boris Johnson.