Here are some of your views on the race to be the next Conservative leader:
As a 16 year old Tory party member (yes we are a rare breed!), we need to seriously consider the next leadership contenders. I think that Liam Fox should win as he has the character and flair to make the media and public listen. In all practical terms though it would be the best bet for Ken Clarke to win and allow the party to profit on his already high popularity with the public.
Paul Holmes, London
The delay in choosing a new Conservative leader has been an absolute disaster. It conveys to the public that the party appears to be in a permanent stupor and incapable of sorting out their real problems. This abomination of a Labour 'government' has given them opportunity after opportunity to politically destroy bungling Blair and his cronies, but this opportunity has almost passed. It will take nothing short of a miracle to recover from this apparent lethargy.
Ron Johnson, Oxford, UK
The simple truth remains that the party is completely out of touch with Britain. When Blair took over Labour there was a real dynamism about the party, not to mention a front bench of high profile MPs. The Conservatives have none of there things. So reform of die? I would like to see somebody provide a credible opposition to Blair, unfortunately its becoming increasingly inevitable that the only person capable of doing this is Brown!
John Ross Thomson, Aberdeen, Scotland
This is the Conservative Party's last chance. If they don't go for Ken Clarke then they will be consigned to the electoral dustbin.
Andrew Durrant, London, UK
If not in power, then at least the Conservative Party would have made greater progress with Ken Clarke at the wheel. Go for it Ken!
Sonia Luck, Sutton Coldfield
I used to be a party member. A moderniser and under the age of 30 to boot! Only Ken Clarke, David Cameron, Andrew Lansley or possibly Malcolm Rifkind have any chance of becoming PM if elected leader. The rest would be out of their depth particularly Theresa May & David Davis both former chairman and both leaving a legacy that any 'Tory' would rather exchange a bucket of spit for!!! Come on Ken or Andrew!
Andrew Jones, Huddersfield
It will be disgraceful if Ken Clarke becomes Conservative Party leader when the overwhelming vast majority of the Party are opposed to his views over the expensive EU gravy train
David Thomson, Gosport; Hants. England
As a Tory party member, for me Theresa May is the only real candidate. The others are either too closely identified to the sleaze of the Major years or are just simply uncharismatic. We have tried a variety of leaders and now it's time for a woman at the helm. It would knock Labour for six. I think the voters would trust a woman more and potentially see the chance to have another Thatcher in our midst. Vote May!
Tim James, London
Judging by the candidates' pictures on the BBC website then Theresa May has got to get Tory votes as she looks like Maggie T. Davis looks like William Hague and Rifkind like Howard (shades of losers past), Cameron like a young Ken Clarke (and we know Ken has no chance) Fox looks like he's been caught relieving himself in a bush. Yeo vaguely surprised by the whole thing and Willetts extremely angry has to go through all this. As for Andrew Lansley you might as well vote for my cat, who I think is marginally better known
Derek Carpenter, Farnham, Surrey
Why has Francis Maude not thrown his hat into the race? Surely a better candidate than the likes of Yeo and May. Had better not manage his own leadership race given the result with Portillo in 2001, but still a worthy candidate.
Kelvin Edwards, Lichfield, England
Alan Duncan should not have pulled out. Many of us at Sheffield Hallam Conservatives were routing for him, and he's let us down. It's got to be Clarke.
Edward Morrison, Sheffield Hallam Conservatives, UK
The Tories must elect Clarke, or condemn themselves to opposition for the duration of this, and the next, parliament. Clarke is the only man who can really expose Tony Blair for what he is.
Frank Webster, Aberdeen, Scotland
The new leader I believe will be one of three people: Davis, Cameron or Fox. Davis represents traditional values with fresh ideas and presentation. Cameron has fresh ideas and energy. Fox was a good chairman and would be able to effectively run the party as well as being in new ideas. The other leadership hopefuls all have one of three major problems: too old, no fresh ideas, not enough support.
Adil Certel, London
How boring is this leadership contest getting. Does anybody really care who is going to lead the Tories to their fourth defeat. The only Tory who knows how to win a public vote five times is Derek from the Big Brother House. DEREK FOR LEADER!!!
Scott, South Shields
There are only two contenders who stand a chance of winning, David Cameron and David Davis. All the rest are tainted or no hopers only on an ego trip. If the two Davids were to unite there would be no contest and the conservatives would be able to concentrate on defeating the present useless government, which is what they were elected to do
Geoff Sperling, Addlestone England
Whoever becomes leader of the Tories is irrelevant if all the other heavyweights (including the defeated candidates) do not unite together in the shadow cabinet. Even as a consistent Tory voter I couldn't help notice the way Michael Howard became a "one man band" P.S. some radical wide ranging policies would not go amiss either!
Bobby Lawson, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Do you remember the days when the Conservatives led the call for one member one vote in the Labour Party - that made trade unions move to postal ballots of all members in elections - anything else was an insult to democracy. They are now removing the vote of their own members . The power in this party will be with the MPs. You may also remember the election when the party leader removed the whip from a sitting MP preventing him standing for his election no matter what the local members want. The part preaches democracy but does not really care about. The proof is in action not words
Tony Gilmore, Cumbria
Dear Mr Howard,
You are not too old to run the Conservative Party into the next election. You'll be 66, and the Late President Reagan was 69 when he started his 1st term, and thanks to him at age 78 the Berlin Wall came down and communism along with it. Your party did lose the 2007 election, but gained seats, decreasing Prime Minister Blair's majority. You have the momentum, use it. You could be the new Prime Minister in 2007. Your departure will likely give it to Labour.
Michael Kramer, Brooklyn, New York, USA
The Tories need to sort themselves out - they have not had a strong leader since Thatcher, if they do not do something quick and find a strong enough leader the Lib Dems are only going to be too happy to take the place as opposition. and to be honest i hope they do.
Luke Taylor, Exeter, Devon
Lord Strathclyde for leader. Better than all of them.
Martyn Greene, Livingston, Scotland
I think Conservative MPs need to make a decision as to whether or not they want to win the next election. If they do, there is only one person, in my opinion, who can lead them to victory and that is Ken Clarke. Indeed, since the last election I have spoken to numerous people as to whether they would be more or less likely to vote Tory if Ken was the leader, as opposed to anyone else. In every case, they have all replied they would be more likely to vote Tory if Ken was the leader. Indeed many former Conservative voters have told me that they would switch allegiance back to the Tories if Ken was the leader.
Since 1997 the Conservative Party as a whole has chosen leaders who have not been up the task of winning elections. I sincerely hope they don't make the same mistake this time around.
Michael Newbold, Shoreham-by-Sea, UK
The next leader of the Tory Party does not need to have a policy of tax cutting but a policy of value for money. He or she should recognize that funds government spend are provided by the tax payer and therefore from their hard earned money. Taxes are not a right to be squandered.
David Packham, Bristol
It doesn't matter.
The Tories will be history soon.
Graham Hart, Stourbridge
The Tories can't get tax cuts (which equals public service cuts and job losses) out of their heads. They haven't said what they will do to improve society's infrastructure - i.e. health, education and security. None of the potential leaders have grasped this and therefore none will win over Labour supporters. Their best chance is Seb Coe, who at least has the experience of winning an election recently in the bag.
Alf, Edinburgh, Scotland
The man most suited for the job is unfortunately not standing, as he is currently leading the Labour Party.
Christian Hogsbjerg, Leeds
What is this? Geoffrey Howe - old "dead sheep" himself - criticising the current crop of Tories for lacking charisma. Surely not?
Paul Linford, Belper, Derbyshire