TORY leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt has taken a furious swipe at Boris Johnson as she becomes the NINTH candidate to enter the race for Number 10.
The Minister of State for Trade Policy called for the country to elect someone who will make the office of Prime Minister "a little less about the leader".
In a nod to her naval background, the MP for Portsmouth North said: "Our leadership has to change.
"It needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship."
The former defence secretary made the announcement on Twitter as she shared a video of bucolic scenes of Britain set to I Vow To Thee My Country.
The Royal Navy reservist is running on a “broad church” ticket of being both a pro-Brexit but socially liberal Conservative, The Times reported.
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Ms Mordaunt, 49, is the activists' favourite, according to bookies.
It comes as Mr Johnson has stepped down after facing one of the biggest rebellions in British political history – sparking what is set to be a brutal leadership contest.
Ms Mordaunt has joined a raft of major figures within the Conservative Party all vying to get the keys to 10 Downing Street when Mr Johnson steps down in September.
Other candidates to have thrown their hat into the ring are: Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, the newly appointed chancellor, Suella Braverman, the attorney general, and Grant Shapps, the transport secretary.
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Sajid Javid & Jeremy Hunt join leadership race alongside Shapps, Zahawi & Truss
The ex-health secretaries Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid are also in the running while Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat have also launched campaigns to become PM.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is also expected to stand, with the Mail on Sunday reporting she will seek to advocate "classic Conservative principles", and could declare her candidature as soon as Monday.
Ms Truss told colleagues she is the only contender who can keep the Boris legacy going.
But the hot favourite is former chancellor Rishi Sunak- who launched a slick campaign video asking Brits to be 'ReadyForRishi'.
He has urged Sajid Javid to back out the contest and support him, claiming the ex-Health Secretary doesn't have enough support.
Mr Sunak was the first big beast to go public with his bid.
Moderate Tom Tugendhat, another declared candidate, told The Sun he would slash VAT and business tax, plus tariffs on imported food and clothes.
The former Army officer said: “Brexit was a democratic revolution that I will proudly uphold.
“I’ve doubted our leaders could deliver it but I’ve never doubted our people have the guts and the spirit to make it work.
“Boris got Brexit done. I’m going to make Brexit deliver.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace became the first to pull out of the race on Saturday.
Mr Wallace, 52, said he wanted to focus on protecting Britain.
Bookies are also taking bets on who could step in, with Mr Sunak also in the lead nationally.
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Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "The Tory leadership race has been blown wide-open following Ben Wallace's announcement, and while Rishi Sunak is a clear favourite to be one of the last two contenders…
"His challenger could likely be any one of up to seven names at this point."
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