Sajid Javid has confirmed that he will formally enter the Conservative leadership race.
The Home Secretary joins a slew of other candidates bidding to replace Theresa May as Tory leader and prime minister, including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Esther McVey and Dominic Raab.
Announcing his bid for the top job in a video posted on Twitter, he pledged he would be “a leader who is always straight” with voters.
Javid, who has held a range of ministerial posts since his election as MP for Bromsgrove in 2010, said there was a need to “restore trust, bring unity and create new opportunities across the UK”.
The Cabinet minister would be the UK’s black and minority ethnic PM and has a remarkable back story.
The son of a Pakistani bus driver from Rochdale, he was a managing director at Deutsche Bank before being elected to Parliament.
Among MPs, he can count Rob Halfon, Chris Philp, John Glen, Chris Skidmore, and David Evenett among his allies.
But the race is a crowded field, with ex-foreign secretary and arch-Brexiteer Johnson the solid favourite to take the crown.
Other candidates include moderate health secretary Matt Hancock, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and newly-appointed international development secretary Rory Stewart.
It comes as the Conservative party recorded its worst ever showing in a national election, dropping to just 9% of the vote in England and Wales in the the European elections as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party swept to victory.
Announcing his intention to stand in a message on Twitter, Javid said: “I’m standing to be the next leader of @Conservatives & Prime Minister of our great country.
“We need to restore trust, bring unity and create new opportunities across the UK.
“First and foremost, we must deliver Brexit. Join @TeamSaj to help me do just that #TeamSaj.”