FORMER chancellor Rishi Sunak has formally announced that he is running to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative leader.

One of the favourites to replace Johnson, who is set to remain in Number 10 until the autumn, Sunak launched his campaign video with the hashtag #Ready4Rishi.

"Let’s restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country," he told followers.

Sunak, the first politician to make it onto the Sunday Times Rich List thanks to he and his wife’s joint £730 million fortune, said his values are "patriotism, fairness and hard work".

It emerged on Friday night that the domain name had been registered in December 2021.

Hinting at austerity politics, Sunak told viewers: “Our country faces huge challenges, the most serious for a generation. The decisions we make today will decide whether the next generation of British people will also have the chance of a better future.

“Do we confront this moment with honesty, seriousness and determination or do we tell ourselves comforting fairytales that might make us feel better in the moment but will leave our children worst off tomorrow. Someone has to grip this moment and make the right decision.”

The National:

In the three-minute video, multi-millionaire Sunak also focuses on the history of his family.

He says: “Let me tell you a story. About a young woman, almost a lifetime ago, who boarded a plane armed with hope for a better life and the love of her family. This young woman came to Britain, where she managed to find a job, but it took her nearly a year to save enough money for her husband and children to follow her.

“One of those children was my mother, aged 15. My mum studied hard and got the qualifications to become a pharmacist. She met my dad, an NHS GP, and they settled in Southampton.

“Their story didn’t end there, but that is where my story began.”

His move came as allies of former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt – who was runner-up to Johnson in 2019 – said he was “virtually certain” to stand again this time.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Boris Johnson has showed all that's wrong at Westminster

Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay MSP pointed out that Scotland hasn't voted for the Tories since the 50s, and so whoever wins the leadership contest won't be backed by those north of the Border.

"Time and again we are landed with Tory governments," she said. "There is no such thing as a good Tory Prime Minister. So, whether it’s Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman or any of the other cast of seemingly hundreds who have thrown their hat in the ring to become the next Prime Minister, it’s vital that Scotland’s future is put in Scotland’s hands.”

The SNP's Westminster deputy Kirsten Oswald MP (below) shared a similar sentiment.

“The reality is that, regardless of who replaces Boris Johnson, Scotland will still be saddled with a Tory government we didn't vote for imposing an extreme Brexit, austerity cuts and damaging policies against Scotland's will.

The National:

“Law-breaker Rishi Sunak happily served in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet, and under his watch as Chancellor, refused to properly tackle the Tory-made cost of living crisis, imposed regressive tax hikes and backed an extreme Brexit that has piled on the pressure. 

“However, the problems run much deeper than one individual. It's beyond any doubt that the Westminster system is broken and the only way to escape it is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to regain our place in Europe and build a fair and prosperous future."

READ MORE: YouGov poll shows Tory support drop under Johnson as Labour widen lead

Sunak won quick support from Mark Harper, who declared Sunak "represents a return to traditional Conservative values".

Later, Commons leader Mark Spencer also backed Sunak.

The Conservative MP for Sherwood told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “Rishi’s got the skills, he’s got the ability, he’s got the experience, and I think he’s got the vision that we need to pull the country together and to get us moving in the right direction.”

He said Sunak has the “vision and the ability to take us through dark economic times” and “knows how to manage the British economy in the right direction”.