Liz Truss claims she is ‘not a quitter’ before quitting as PM …

Another Tory leadership contest has just started.

Yes, while our 'Ready for Rishi' and Liz Truss posters are barely curling at the edges, a new challenge has been triggered because Truss resigned after just six weeks in office, thanks to being strikingly incompetent in both her management of the economy and her own party.

When Boris Johnson resigned before her, the country was treated to a couple of months of Tory navel-gazing, as MPs trotted around broadcast studios and the country to bat for themselves, until members of the party whittled them down to choose a woman whose leadership campaign lasted longer than her time in office.

The country barely had an appetite for it then, and it certainly doesn't have an appetite now so Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench MPs has seemingly whipped new rules out of his backside to make the process run faster, in what is just the latest way our democracy will be outsourced to a tiny group of people. Great.

So how exactly will it work?

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Firstly, each candidate needs the support of 100 Tory MPs to get to the next round, whereas last time only 20 nominations were needed. Nominations are open now and will close on Monday 24 October.

If more than two get to this stage, Tories will vote and whittle candidates down until two remain. With 357 Conservative MPs, there can be a maximum of three candidates, so it won't take too long.

If only one candidate gets more than 100 nominations, they will be the next PM. Job done.

But if two get through, Tory members will vote online for who they want to be the next leader of their party and therefore PM and there might also be a televised debate between them (FFS).

Results from an "indicative vote" among MPs after two candidates remain will also be released for Tory members in this instance, so they can get a sense of the mood among Tory MPs (and maybe not pick a plonker again?)...

No-one has put their name forward at the time of writing but names being bandied around so far include Rishi Sunak, Ben Wallace, Penny Mordaunt and even Boris Johnson, if you can believe such a thing.

The new leader will hopefully be announced and in place next Friday, on 28 October. They are expected to remain in post for more than six weeks, but this is British politics so anything can happen.

Meanwhile, opposition parties are calling for a general election, arguing that this has been a pantomime of nonsense and it is time for the people to decide who should be in charge.

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said: “The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people.”He added: “The British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future. They must have the chance to compare the Tories’ chaos with Labour’s plans to sort out their mess, grow the economy for working people and rebuild the country for a fairer, greener future. We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election – now."

We agree.

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

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