Junior Brexit minister James Cleverly has announced he would "be a better leader" than fellow leadership hopeful Boris Johnson.
The Conservative MP has become the eleventh contender to join the leadership race.
Speaking to talkRADIO's Alastair Stewart about his relationship with the bookies' favourite to become leader, Boris Johnson, Mr Cleverly said: “I’ve worked with Boris; I know that he can be a very effective leader. I happen to think that in the circumstances that we’ve now got that I would be a better leader.”
He was far tougher towards his own party, and said the Tories had “failed” to sell conservatism.
“We have failed to explain the conservative philosophy, to explain why having a vibrant economic sector is good not just for businesses but also the public sector.”
He added; “we have failed to explain why personal choice and freedom really matters.”
The junior Brexit minister supported Brexit “before it became fashionable” and stands firm on leaving the European Union on October 31.
“We can leave without a deal if we have to, but that is not the most desirable outcome”, he said.
“With a new person at the helm we can repair some of the relationships which unfortunately have broken down both within the Conservative Party and with parties on the opposition benches.”
Mr Cleverly has been an MP since 2015, and joined the ministry last month.
He would be the first black Prime Minister, and the first to have served in the armed forces since Labour leader James Callaghan.