THE MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse has entered the Conservative leadership race – one of 10 contenders to do so.

Housing minister Mr Malthouse has today (Tuesday) officially declared his bid to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister when she departs on June 7.

Father-of-three Mr Malthouse says that his core offer is a new social contract, "a good job, a secure home and a brilliant school. Job, house, school - the foundations of a secure and happy life".

He said he has plans to end the Brexit deadlock and bring together MPs from different sides of the party to hammer out a plan.

He previously had a proposal dubbed the Malthouse Compromise, which he says, according to many commentators, "united the Conservatives on Europe for possibly the only time in the party’s history". 

Mr Malthouse said: "This leadership campaign cannot be about the same old faces scarred by the wars that have recently split the Tory Party.

"I believe I’m the new face, with fresh new ideas, from a new and talented generation. And I have over two decades of experience in front line politics - leading overseas trade missions, putting my arms round the families of knife crime victims and building homes for young people.

"So join me as I stand to lead the Conservative party and offer a new social contract of a good job, a secure home and a brilliant school."

The 52-year-old Mr Malthouse, former deputy mayor of London, has been in front line politics for more than 20 years and entered the Commons in 2015 as David Cameron’s Conservatives won a majority.

Mr Malthouse has become the 10th person to throw their hat in the ring since Mrs May announced her resignation on Friday, with Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson among those who have already delcared their candidacy. 

And locally Mr Malthouse has been given the support of Test Valley Borough Council leader and Tory councillor Phil North.

Councillor North said: "A brave but brilliant decision by our local MP, Kit Malthouse to stand to become our next Prime Minister.

"He has the talent, skill and experience to do a fantastic job for our country - and bring people together.

"And whether he is successful or not, if he can help deliver Brexit and help turn around the electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party it is clear his future belongs in high office.

"Good luck, Kit. North West Hampshire is with you." 

According to bookmakers odds on Mr Malthouse becoming the next permanent leader is 66/1, making him the 14th favourite.