Conservative leadership candidates: where do they stand?

13 July 2022

Christian Concern’s Head of Public Policy, Tim Dieppe, looks into the voting records and statements of the current Conservative leadership candidates.

Now we know the eight candidates who are vying for leadership of the Conservative Party which also means one of these eight will become the next Prime Minister. We took a look at their voting records and statements on some of the issues we care about and found a mixed record, with some clearly better than others.


Only three of the candidates voted against making DIY pills-by-post abortion permanent in the recent vote in Parliament. They were Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, and Jeremy Hunt. Penny Mordaunt actually voted in favour of DIY abortions, the other four abstained.

All of the candidates abstained on the vote on censorship zones around abortion clinics. On abortion more generally, Penny Mordaunt has the most pro-abortion record, closely followed by Nadhim Zahawi. Jeremy Hunt and Suella Braverman have the most pro-life records of the candidates.

Assisted suicide

Three of the candidates voted against legalising assisted suicide – Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, and Tom Tugendhat. The others all abstained, except Kemi Badenoch who was not in office at the time.

No-fault divorce

None of the candidates opposed no-fault divorce in Parliament. Four of them supported it – Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat, and Nadim Zahawi. The others were all absent.

Same-sex ‘marriage’

Only one candidate opposed legalising same-sex ‘marriage’ in Northern Ireland – Suella Braverman. Three candidates supported same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland – Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, and Tom Tugendhat. The others were absent.

When same-sex ‘marriage’ was voted on in 2013, three of the candidates supported it – Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, and Liz Truss. The other candidates were not in office at the time.

Mandatory vaccines

None of the candidates voted against mandatory vaccines for care home workers. The only candidate to vote against mandatory vaccines for NHS workers and/or sports and clubs was Tom Tugendhat.

Conversion therapy

No candidate is opposed to outlawing so-called ‘conversion therapy’. However, Liz Truss has said that free speech should be protected, and Kemi Badenoch has said that religious freedom should be protected. Penny Mordaunt has been the most vocal supporter of a conversion therapy ban.


Four of the candidates can be said to be sex realists – openly stating that sex is biological and cannot be changed. These are Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Liz Truss, and Nadhim Zahawi, with Badenoch being the most outspoken. Jeremy Hunt said that patients have a right to gender surgery. Penny Mordaunt, said in parliament that “trans women are women.” Rishi Sunak has said that he is “led by the biology.” Tom Tugendhat described the MP who came out as transgender as “brave.”

Faith background

Several of the candidates have, or at least are heavily influenced by a Christian faith. Kemi Badenoch is Catholic and describes herself as a “cultural Christian.” Jeremy Hunt has said that he is a Church of England Christian and that he sometimes prays. Tom Tugendhat is Catholic. Liz Truss has reportedly described herself as a Christian in the past.

Rishi Sunak has described Britain as “a secular country” – to the delight of Humanists UK. Suella Braverman is a Buddhist. Nadhim Zahawi is thought to be Muslim.

Who is best to lead?

If I had to pick one candidate based on their track record on these issues alone, it would be Kemi Badenoch. Badenoch has been the most outspoken about transgenderism, and generally about woke ideology. Badenoch would be closely followed by Suella Braverman – the only one to oppose same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

The worst candidate on these issues is clearly Penny Mordaunt – a vocal supporter of banning conversion therapy and with the most pro-abortion record too.

We pray for a leader with integrity and righteousness to take on this important role, and we pray for more Christians to get into politics and influence the parties on these issues. It is disappointing that none of the candidates can be said to have stood for a Christian position on all of these issues.

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