THERE are nine confirmed contenders for the next Tory Prime Minister of the UK - and each has been mired in one scandal or another.

From financial investigations to railing against woke culture, the rogues gallery of Tories lining up to take over from Boris Johnson leaves a lot to be desired.

While the Westminster Tory party begins its usual bitter backstabbing and soap opera level rowing in the press on the road to take over the top job, The National has revisited each of the confirmed candidates most memorable scandals - so far.

READ MORE: Analysis - Tory leadership candidates are no threat to indyref2 but will try to deny democracy

The National: Sunak was the second to resign and is hotly tipped to be the next PMSunak was the second to resign and is hotly tipped to be the next PM

Rishi Sunak

Holding a US green card while Chancellor of the UK, the revelation of his wife’s tax-dodging non-dom status, an investigation into his finances, writing off £4 billion of fraud through Covid schemes such as furlough, his reluctance to intervene in the cost of living crisis and impose a windfall tax on energy companies returning record profits are just some of the headline rows Sunak has found himself in this year alone.

Former darling of the Tory party, Sunak’s popularity rating collapsed in April as he became mired in scandal.

And, just last month during a trip to Aberdeen, Sunak criticised Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of indyref2 in October 2023, and said she should focus on the cost of living crisis instead.

The National: After Javid resigned as health secretary, 59 MPs followedAfter Javid resigned as health secretary, 59 MPs followed

Sajid Javid

Javid's resignation was the first in a wave that would topple Johnson, but the former health secretary has played many significant roles in Johnson’s government.

He spent less than eight months as Chancellor under Johnson before he resigned, and compared to his fellow contenders has remained relatively scandal free.

However, the pledge of 40 new hospitals being built across England, many of which were simply refurbishments of existing wings or departments, is starting to bite now that it hasn’t come to fruition.

Javid also reportedly wanted to bring back ASBO’s during his time as Home Secretary, and introduced the problem-hit settled status scheme for EU nationals in the wake of Brexit.

The National: Hunt became the enemy of junior doctors during his time as health secretaryHunt became the enemy of junior doctors during his time as health secretary

Jeremy Hunt

Hunt spent eight years as health secretary, becoming the longest-serving, and will always be remembered for refusing to give non-medical NHS staff a 1% pay rise, the animosity that followed and his battles with junior doctors.

The 55-year-old was the subject of a petition with over 100,000 signatures calling for a vote of no confidence in him as health secretary.

Hunt is big on privatisation of the health service and worked towards eroding many of the systems in place during his tenure.

There have been numerous instances of Freudian slips on TV where the H in his last name has been inadvertently replaced with a C. Both Hunt and Javid said this week that they would not allow a second independence referendum for the next 10 years.

READ MORE: Professor John Curtice says Scottish independence won't be hurt by resignation of Boris Johnson

The National: Zahawi was appointed Chancellor after Sunak's resignationZahawi was appointed Chancellor after Sunak's resignation

Nadhim Zahawi

Just days after he was appointed Chancellor following Sunak’s resignation, it emerged that Zahawi is under investigation by HMRC over his tax affairs. The former education secretary also claimed over £5800 in tax payer cash to supply electricity and heating oil to his plush stables, it emerged in 2013.

In 2018 Zahawi was dragged into Number 10 to explain his attendance at a male-only gala hosted by The Presidents Club which was rocked by accusations of groping and harassment after a Financial Times undercover investigation.

Last year Zahawi was slammed for a second job with oil firm Gulf Keystone during his time as an MP where he was paid £1.3 million, and allowed to keep the cash as part of a parliamentary loophole.

The National: Mordaunt is another contender tipped to be the favourite for next PM due to her defence backgroundMordaunt is another contender tipped to be the favourite for next PM due to her defence background

Penny Mordaunt

Tipped to be the underdog in the leadership contest, Mordaunt stands a good chance due to her immovable pro-Brexit stance. She was left red-faced after claiming that the UK could not stop Turkey joining the EU during the Brexit campaign - forcing then PM David Cameron to point out that she was wrong, as the country had a veto over membership.

Mordaunt also infamously weaved the word “c**k” six times into a speech in the House of Commons as punishment for a dining misdeameanor during a navy reservist training course.

She has consistently voted for military action, stronger immigration rules and mass surveilance of public communications, but against raising welfare benefits in line with inflation and guaranteeing jobs for young people with public funds.

The National: Shapps has been embroiled in numerous scandals throughout his career so farShapps has been embroiled in numerous scandals throughout his career so far

Grant Shapps

The Transport Secretary was forced to resign as Tory party co-chair in 2015 after it emerged he was made aware of accusations around election campaign chief Mark Clarke a year before they were made public - much like his now deposed boss and the Pincher scandal.

A young Tory activist, Elliot Johnson, took his own life that year and named Clarke as his tormentor in a suicide note. Six months previously it was discovered that Shapps had been using a pseudonym, after repeatedly denying he had done so, while he held a second job as a web marketer raking in millions during his first year as an MP.

One of Johnson’s most loyal defenders and a frequenter of the morning media round, Shapps said this week he felt “uneasy” backing the Government over partygate, just months after critising broadcasters for reporting extensively on it.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid rule out second Scottish independence referendum for 10 years

The National: Braverman launched her leadership bid live on TV before Johnson had resignedBraverman launched her leadership bid live on TV before Johnson had resigned

Suella Braverman

The Advocate General threw her name in the ring for Tory leader before Johnson had tendered his resignation with the telling statement that she intends to “get rid of all this woke rubbish”.

An ardent Brexiteer, Braverman has called for parliament to “retrieve power” from the courts, has made no secret of her opposition to the Human Rights Act and has been instrumental in muffling the court's ability to review government decisions.

Braverman also criticised the judges at the European Court of Human Rights after they intervened in stopping the first flight of refugees heading to Rwanda. The top Tory is also reportedly in a Buddhist sex cult which faced accusations of assault, according to the tabloids.

The National: Badenoch clashed with the LGBT community in her role as equalities ministerBadenoch clashed with the LGBT community in her role as equalities minister

Kemi Badenoch

Another MP who is tying her leadership bid to the culture wars, former equalities minister Badenoch has previously defended gender critical academic Kathleen Stock who left her position amid claims of harassment and intimidation of her stance on transgender rights.

Badenoch has been at the forefront of the row over conversion therapy too, and has said that the government won’t intervene to stop those seeking “spiritual counselling” with their sexual identity, despite concerns raised that a religious exemption would allow the practice to continue.

She has also been told to stand down by LGBT+ activists because she does not understand the community. Badenoch also found herself embroiled in a row in September last year after Whatsapp messages emerged where she stated she “didn’t care” about the impact of colonialism on Africa.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour's Anas Sarwar is rattled by The National's questions on Tory deals

The National: Former soldier Tugendhat is the 'centrist' candidate in the raceFormer soldier Tugendhat is the 'centrist' candidate in the race

Tom Tugendhat

The former soldier, who has dual French citizenship and is the son of a High Court judge, has not held any ministerial posts, so unlike his fellow contenders has not been embroiled in any particularly juicy rows.

The Commons foreign affairs committee chair has however praised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, slammed the Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan as a “major strategic mistake”, called out Russian money laundering in London and has been increasingly critical of China.

A centrist candidate, Tugendhat has already made his pitch to the Scottish Tories as someone who will “stand up for the Union” and has the support of MSPs Stephen Kerr and Douglas Lumsden. Whether this will translate to the rest of the party is yet to be known, with chief whip Mark Spencer reportedly branding him with the nickname “Tom Tugendtwat”.

The National: The Foreign Secretary reportedly cut short a trip to Indonesia to return to the UK and launch a leadership bidThe Foreign Secretary reportedly cut short a trip to Indonesia to return to the UK and launch a leadership bid

Liz Truss

The Foreign Secretary has yet to announce her leadership bid - but it’s well known that it will be forthcoming.

In 2009, furious party activists in her future Norfolk constituency attacked Truss over an 18-month long affair with married MP Mark Field, which nearly de-railed his selection for the seat.

There was also the infamous cheese video, where Truss lamented the fact that the UK imports a third of the dairy product as a “disgrace”.

She has also come under fire for hosting a £3000 lunch at a private members club at the taxpayers expense in November last year.

Also minister for women and equalities, Truss raised eyebrows immediately after her appointment by suggesting she would move away from “identity politics” and has claimed minority groups are jumping on the “woke bandwagon” to demand more rights.