Conservative leadership race latest: Tom Tugendhat eliminated in third round while Sunak increases vote

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·40-min read
Conservative leadership race latest: Tom Tugendhat eliminated in third round while Sunak increases vote
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Tom Tugenhadt’s bid to be the next Prime Minister has come to an end after he secured the fewest votes in the latest vote in the Tory leadership contest.

He secured 31 votes from Conservative MPs meaning he was knocked out meaning just four contenders remain.

Rishi Sunak received 115 votes, Penny Mordaunt received 82 votes, Liz Truss received 71 votes while Kemi Badenoch received 58 votes.

MPs cast their votes in the third round of the contest, which will decide who will be the next PM, between 5pm and 7pm on Monday with the result announced at 8pm.

It comes after the final Tory leadership TV debate was cancelled earlier after the frontrunners, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, refused to take part.

The five remaining candidates then were involved in series of bad-tempered exchanges in the latest TV debate – staged by ITV – on Sunday evening.

What’s on today?

07:27 , Sarah Harvey

Morning, and welcome to the Standard’s politics blog for today. Here is a rundown of timings for the day:

2pm - 3.30pm: 1922 hustings 5pm - 7pm: MPs vote in the third ballot of the Conservative leadership contest 8pm: 1922 chairman Sir Graham Brady announces the result 10pm: MPs vote on whether they have confidence in the Government

Cutting taxes ‘would be a mistake’, IMF warns Tory leadership hopefuls

07:37 , Elly Blake

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) UK head has warned Conservative Party rivals against promising tax cuts as part of their leadership bids.

Amid soaring inflation, Mark Flanagan said debt-financed tax cuts at the current time “would be a mistake”.

Speaking to BBC News, the IMF’s top official said, if anything, the tax ratio needed to be lifted.

Mr Flanagan added: “At some point you have to decide, do we want to invest in the climate transition? Do we want invest in digitalisation? Do we want to invest in skills for the public.

“Well, if you do you need the resources to do it. And the way to realise those resources is to lift the tax ratio a little bit.”

Mr Flanagan said that tax cuts may even boost inflation by strengthening spending.

Cutting taxes has been a key issue for the No 10 hopefuls, with candidates clashing over it on Sunday night in the latest televised debate.

The former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has been criticised by other candidates including Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt for arguing against tax cuts.

Ms Truss attacked Mr Sunak’s record in the Treasury, while Ms Mordaunt said limited tax cuts she advocated were not inflationary.

Mr Sunak accused Ms Truss of peddling “something-for-nothing” economics and said in response to Ms Mordaunt’s fiscal borrowing proposals: “Even Jeremy Corbyn didn’t go that far.”

One more Tory hopeful to be eliminated in the race for No 10

07:39 , Elly Blake

Contenders for the Tory leadership will be whittled down to just four on Monday as MPs cast their votes in the third round of the contest to find a successor to Boris Johnson.

Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch (behind host Julie Etchingham), Tom Tugendhat and Penny Mordaunt (PA Media)
Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch (behind host Julie Etchingham), Tom Tugendhat and Penny Mordaunt (PA Media)

MPs to stage confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s Government

07:43 , Elly Blake

MPs will stage a vote of confidence in the Government amid renewed opposition calls for Boris Johnson to step down immediately and hand over to a caretaker prime minister.

If the Government is defeated it would almost certainly trigger a general election, although that would require a significant number of Tory MPs to vote against it, or at least abstain.

That however which would appear unlikely given the party is leaderless and in no fit state to fight an election.

It may offer the Prime Minister a final chance to defend his record before MPs after the tumultuous events which led to his downfall, amid accusations of lying and rule-breaking.

Mr Johnson had been expected to open the debate – although it is not clear whether he will now do so or whether he we leave it to another minister.

Unusually, the vote will take place on a Government motion.

Labour had originally said it would seek to hold a confidence vote after Mr Johnson announced he was staying on as Prime Minister until the autumn and a new Conservative leader was in place.

To read the full story, click here.

Minister defends Boris Johnson’s non-attendance at Cobra meeting

07:53 , Elly Blake

Cabinet minister Kit Malthouse defended Boris Johnson’s decision not to attend a Cobra meeting on the heatwave and instead spend the weekend having a party at Chequers.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Mr Malthouse told Sky News: “It’s my job to chair Cobra meetings. I briefed him yesterday morning at about 8am personally.”

As the broadcaster showed aerial footage of Mr Johnson with his guests at Chequers, Mr Malthouse said it was “completely unfair” to suggest that the Prime Minister was ducking important meetings because he would be leaving the job soon.

Rishi Sunak performed best overall in ITV leaders debate, a poll has suggested

08:08 , Elly Blake

Rishi Sunak performed the best out of all five candidates during Sunday’s Conseravative leader race debate on ITV, according to a poll.

A snap poll by Opinium asked 1,000 people to watch the debate and then answer questions about what they thought about it.

The former Chancellor came top when it came to who performed best overall, on 24 per cent of the vote share.

He was followed by Tom Tugendhat on 19 per cent and Penny Mordaunt on 17 per cent.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss received 15 per cent and Kemi Badenoch finished on 12 per cent.

Labour says Boris Johnson has ‘clearly clocked off'

08:42 , Elly Blake

Labour frontbencher Lisa Nandy accused Boris Johnson and his ministers of having “clocked off” during the UK’s first red extreme heat warning.

The shadow levelling up secretary told Sky News: “We think the Government ought to do a number of things: first is to turn up to work.”

She said the Prime Minister has “clearly clocked off”, adding: “And so have many of his ministers in his Government.”

Ms Nandy argued there should be a dedicated Cabinet Office minister to co-ordinate an emergency response and she urged Whitehall to work with local areas to ensure resilience plans are in place to end the current “patchwork” approach.

Penny Mordaunt wins backing of 10 Ukrainian MPs

08:46 , Elly Blake

Tory leadership contender Penny Mordaunt has won the backing of a group of Ukrainian MPs, her campaign has said.

Ten MPs from three different parties – some of whom met her on a recent visit to London – are supporting her bid to succeed Boris Johnson, her campaign team said.

In a statement released by the campaign, Lesia Vasylenko of the Holos (Voice) Party said: “In the last six months, the UK has proven to be not just a strategic partner for Ukraine but a true friend.

“The next Conservative leader will need to be 110% dedicated to Ukraine’s victory and with it the victory of democracy.

“Penny Mordaunt was the first minister I have met, back in March, and she struck me with her determination to have Ukraine win at all cost. This is exactly the kind of uncompromising stance we in Ukraine require from our partners today.”

Read the full story here.

Pictured: Rishi Sunak seen ahead of crunch vote later

08:51 , Elly Blake

Rishi Sunak (REUTERS)
Rishi Sunak (REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Calls for Conservative Party to unify after leadership contest

09:03 , Elly Blake

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Kit Malthouse said the Tories would come back together in a “spirit of harmony and love” after the leadership campaign.

Despite the bitter rows as the campaign hots up, Mr Malthouse told Sky News: “I think it’s good to have a vigorous debate within any kind of political organisation.”

He added: “All political parties are standing coalitions and the Conservative Party is the same. A vigorous exchange of ideas, in what is a challenging time for the country, should be expected when you are talking about such important issues and the leadership of a G7 nation.

“If it was just a polite agreement and consensus across the board, there wouldn’t be much point in having a competition at all.”

Mr Malthouse has not publicly declared his support for any of the candidates to succeed Boris Johnson.

Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse (PA Wire)
Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse (PA Wire)

Leadership hopefuls must show pro-enterprise credentials, say small firms

09:17 , Elly Blake

The next leader of the Conservative Party must be "pro-business, pro-growth," the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has said.

Surging operating costs, a high tax burden and struggles to fill vacancies are threatening the futures of hundreds of thousands of small firms and sole traders across the UK, according to the latest findings from FSB.

The UK headline small business confidence measure has tumbled to -24.7, down more than 40 points on the same quarter last year (+18.6).

The figure is the lowest recorded outside of periods when significant trading restrictions aimed at halting the spread of Covid were in place.

Among the more than 1,300 firms surveyed, the vast majority (77 per cent) do not expect their performance to improve over the coming quarter. More than a third (38 per cent) expect it to worsen

A record high 89 per cent of small firms say operating costs are up this year compared to last, with record high numbers citing fuel (64 per cent), utilities (64 per cent) and inputs (48 per cent) as primary drivers of that increase.

FSB National Chair Martin McTague said: “The cost of doing business crisis has worsened to the point where confidence is now lower than during last year’s massively disrupted festive trading season.

“Firms are trying to absorb additional cost pressures but can only do so much before they’re forced to raise prices.

“The small business community reduced in size to the tune of hundreds of thousands over lockdowns. Unless policymakers act fast, history is set to repeat itself.

“Firms desperately need help with the charges that hit them regardless of profitability: business rates, national insurance, utilities, fuel and those linked to supply chain disruption.

“We’re looking to prime ministerial candidates for unequivocally pro-business, pro-growth commitments. There is still time to act, but time is of the essence.”

‘There have been a number of times when she hasn’t been available’: Penny Mordaunt accused of shirking ministerial role

09:26 , Elly Blake

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan accused Penny Mordaunt of shirking her ministerial role to plot her leadership bid.

Ms Mordaunt is a minister in Ms Trevelyan’s department, but there have been times when “she has not been available” and others have had to “pick up the pieces”, the Secretary of State claimed.

Asked whether Ms Mordaunt is not “strong on details”, Ms Trevelyan, who is backing Tom Tugendhat for the Conservative Party leadership, said: “We all do our jobs in different ways.

“Understandably, perhaps, now it’s clear, Penny has for the last few months spent some of her time focused on preparing her leadership campaign, for which I have utmost respect, that’s how this system works.”

Ms Trevelyan told LBC Radio: “There have been a number of times when she hasn’t been available, which would have been useful, and other ministers have picked up the pieces.”

Boris Johnson attends Farnborough Air Show

10:07 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson has arrived at Farnborough Air Show in one of his final public appearances as Prime Minister.

He is meeting some of the 1,500 exhibitors at one of the world’s biggest aerospace and defence trade shows, which opened in Hampshire today.

Mr Johnson will later meet British astronaut Tim Peake and Dr Paul Bate, chief executive of the UK Space Agency.

He will also view an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

The event usually takes place every two years, but the coronavirus pandemic means this is the first time it has been held since 2018.

Mr Johnson is at Farnborough at a time when he is facing criticism for not leading Cobra meetings being held in response to extreme temperatures.

The Prime Minister is set to leave office in September following the election of a new Tory leader.

The House of Commons’ summer recess begins on Friday.

Conservative leadership race is ‘very volatile’, says former president of YouGov

10:20 , Elly Blake

Peter Kellner, the former president of data company YouGov, told Sky News that leadership contests are “very volatile”.

It comes as Conservative leadership hopefuls prepare for a third round of polling, which will see another candidate eliminated by the end of the day.

Mr Kellner said: “There’s a record of Conservative leadership campaigns being very volatile where there are a lot of very fresh people in the race.

“These television debates and performances could be making a big difference.”

Question mark over Rishi’s attendance at next TV debate

10:34 , Elly Blake

Rishi Sunak is unlikely to take part in Sky’s televised Tory leadership debate, campaign sources have said.

One said: “We are very happy to do more debates if we are lucky enough to get to the next stage.”

They said it did not argue a change in thinking because the campaign never confirmed with Sky that Mr Sunak would be taking place.

Rishi Sunak ‘virtually guaranteed’ spot in Tory leadership final two, says Lord Hayward

10:44 , Elly Blake

Rishi Sunak has “virtually guaranteed” himself a place on the shortlist of two to be the next Tory leader and Prime Minister, polling expert Lord Hayward said on Monday.

The Conservative peer believes Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt are battling it out for the second place.

Lord Hayward told The Standard: “The number of votes that Rishi has gained in the last round and his performance in the two debates have virtually guaranteed him a place in the final two.

“The battle (for the second place) is between Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt - neither of them have had a particular good weekend.”

Read the full story here.

Sky News cancels TV debate

11:00 , Elly Blake

The Tory leadership debate on Sky News planned for Tuesday night has been cancelled after Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss indicated they did not want to take part, the broadcaster said.

A statement from Sky News read: “Tuesday evening’s live television debate on Sky News between the Conservative Party leadership candidates has been cancelled.

“Two of the three candidates currently leading in the MPs ballots, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have confirmed to Sky News that they do not want to take part.

“Conservative MPs are said to be concerned about the damage the debates are doing to the image of the Conservative Party, exposing disagreements and splits within the party.

“Both are very welcome to taking part in future Sky News televised debates.”

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss pulled out of TV debate, causing it to be cancelled

11:11 , Elly Blake

The final Tory leadership TV debate has been cancelled after the frontrunners refused to take part.

Ms Truss pulled out of the clash, which was due to air on Sky tomorrow evening.

An insider in the Foreign Secretary’s campaign told the Standard “it was not necessary to take part at this stage”.

Mr Sunak’s team also confirmed he would not be taking part.

A campaign source said: “We are very happy to do more debates if we are lucky enough to get to the next stage, including Sky News.”

In an email announcing the debate’s cancellation, Sky News said: “Conservative MPs are said to be concerned about the damage the debates are doing to the image of the Conservative Party, exposing disagreements and splits within the party.

“Both are very welcome to taking part in future Sky News televised debates.”

Penny Mordaunt’s campaign team respond after Sky News debate cancelled

11:12 , Elly Blake

Penny Mordaunt’s campaign team said: “Penny is always happy to debate with the other candidates at any time. Throughout this contest she has never dodged media or shied away from broadcast interviews and debates - people deserve to hear from their leaders.

“It’s a shame some colleagues cannot find a way to debate one another in a civil way. Last night Penny showed she is the only candidate with a plan to unite the party, defeat Labour and lead the country forward.”

Pictured: Boris Johnson at Farnborough Air Show

11:15 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson at Farnborough Air Show (REUTERS)
Boris Johnson at Farnborough Air Show (REUTERS)

Boris Johnson has attended the Farnborough Air Show on Monday.

In a speech to open the event, the outgoing prime minister said: “I leave it to you to imagine who at this stage I would like to send into orbit.

“Perhaps a volunteer can be found from the green benches of Parliament.

“I leave that entirely to you, into your speculation.

“But for now, with so much to look forward to in this incredible sector, and with the UK at the leading edge of progress, not just for our national security and the security of our friends and neighbours, not just for our economic prosperity around the whole country, but for the protection of the planet itself, I declare this great Farnborough Air Show open.”

Lib Dem leader criticises candidates for pulling out of TV debate

11:24 , Elly Blake

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey on the cancellation of Tuesday’s TV debate: “The Conservatives say they want to lead but they won’t even turn up to debate the issues that matter to our country.

“Each of them are treating the nation with utter contempt and they’ve been taking people for granted for long enough.

“Conservative candidate’s attempt to duck scrutiny just makes a general election at the end of this campaign even more necessary.”

No 10 defends PM’s decision not to chair Cobra meetings on heatwave

12:03 , Elly Blake

Downing Street has defended Boris Johnson for not chairing Cobra meetings on the heatwave while finding time to take a ride in a Typhoon fighter jet.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was unable to say what is in Mr Johnson’s diary at the time Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Kit Malthouse chairs a Cobra meeting at 2.30pm on Monday.

The spokesman said: “Kit Malthouse has made the point that he is taking the lead on the Government’s response to the heatwave, he’s keeping the Prime Minister fully briefed including over the weekend when the Prime Minister also spoke to a number of secretaries of state about the work they are doing.

“And it is not unusual in Cabinet Government for Cabinet ministers to chair these sorts of things.”

Sir Keir Starmer wades in on Sky News TV debate cancellation

12:05 , Elly Blake

Sir Keir Starmer has said he was “astonished” by Tory leadership candidates withdrawing from a televised debate, saying it demonstrated a lack of “confidence”.

The Labour leader told reporters at a central London bank: “I’m astonished that those that want to be prime minister of the United Kingdom are pulling out of debates and out of scrutiny.

“I can see based on what I’ve seen in the debates so far why they want to do so because this is a party that is out of ideas, out of purpose, they’re tearing each other apart.

“And I think for millions of people, particularly with the heatwave today, they’ll be saying I want a Government that’s focused on the day job, that’s getting on with resilience for today and tomorrow, however long this heatwave goes on, and focused on the cost-of-living crisis.”

He added: “Pulling out of a TV debate when you want to be prime minister doesn’t show very much confidence”.

It comes after frontrunner Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss confirmed they did not want to take part in the Sky News debate planned for Tuesday, prompting the broadcaster to cancel the show.

No 10 defends Government’s economic strategy

12:10 , Elly Blake

Downing Street has defended the Government’s economic strategy after Liz Truss said Britain is predicted to experience a recession due to Rishi Sunak’s tax rises.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Government’s position has been well established and talked about.

“We believe we need to strike the right balance between servicing significant debt, which is running at £83 billion, and also taking action to mitigate these global cost-of-living pressures, that’s what we’re doing and that’s where the Treasury’s focus is.”

Labour leader blasts ‘farcical’ vote on confidence in Boris Johnson

12:13 , Elly Blake

Sir Keir Starmer has said it is “farcical” that Boris Johnson is likely to win a vote of confidence on Monday.

Speaking at a central London bank, the Labour leader told reporters: “The Prime Minister has put down this vote of confidence in himself and his Government.

“We’ve got this extraordinary situation. In the debate last night, I think all of the candidates to be prime minister (were asked) ‘would you have the current Prime Minister in your cabinet’?

“And none of them said they would.

“Tonight he’s asking them to go into voting lobbies to vote confidence in him continuing as Prime Minister so this is getting farcical.

“And you’ve got a Government that’s been propped up for months and months and months, is likely to be propped up again this afternoon in that debate”.

PM to use motion of confidence debate to defend record

12:31 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson will use the debate on a motion of confidence in his Government to defend his record in office.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “As you would expect the Prime Minister will set out some of the achievements of the Government.”

Third Cobra meeting to take place on Monday afternoon

12:37 , Elly Blake

A third emergency Cobra meeting about the heatwave will take place on Monday afternoon.

Cabinet Office Minister Kit Malthouse will chair the discussion about the UK’s response to the sweltering temperatures at 2.30pm.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend, his spokesman said.

Downing Street said a “range of measures” were in place to cope with temperatures reaching up to 40C on Monday and Tuesday.

“In the NHS we are increasing ambulance control room staff and on NHS 111,” the PM’s official spokesman said/

“There are specialist teams from Network Rail and Transport for London monitoring the impact of higher temperatures so they can keep services running.”

Red warning in place for parts of England (PA Graphics)
Red warning in place for parts of England (PA Graphics)

Sir Ed Davey: ‘Boris Johnson should go now'

12:40 , Elly Blake

Ahead of the vote, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, who has tabled an amendment demanding Mr Johnson resign immediately, said: “Conservative MPs have the chance to show they are listening to the people by getting rid of this failing Prime Minister.

“Boris Johnson should go now and, when a new Conservative leader is in place, we should have a general election so that people can kick out these Conservatives once and for all.”

Chris Philp backing Liz Truss

12:43 , Elly Blake

Former technology minister Chris Philp has said he is backing Liz Truss.

In a tweet on Monday morning, the Conservative MP for Croydon South said: “After careful thought, I’ve decided to back @trussliz for Leader and PM.

“I think she has the right mix of experience and vision for a dynamic, high growth economy - with a turbo-charged tech sector at its heart.

“I will be voting for her later today (and I hope subsequently!)”

Harriet Baldwin defends Penny Mordaunt over claims she has missed ministerial meetings for leadership campaign

12:49 , Elly Blake

Former minister Harriet Baldwin has defended Penny Mordaunt after she was accused of shirking her ministerial responsibilities to launch her Conservative leadership campaign.

Speaking on Monday morning, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan told LBC Radio that Mordaunt missed ministerial meetings because she was plotting her Tory leadership bid.

She said: “Penny has for the last few months spent some of her time focused on preparing her leadership campaign, for which I have utmost respect, that’s how this system works.

“There have been a number of times when she hasn’t been available, which would have been useful, and other ministers have picked up the pieces.”

However, defending Mordaunt, Ms Baldwin said: “Having worked with Penny Mordaunt for a number of years, I can confirm this is not true.

“She is one of the most hard-working ministers and constituency MPs I know.

“I look forward to Penny continuing to put forward her positive vision for Britain.”

Cabinet minister condemns Mordaunt for leaving others to ‘pick up the pieces’

13:26 , Sami Quadri

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has launched a blistering attack on leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt.

Ms Trevelyan, who is backing Tom Tugendhat, said her ministerial colleague was absent at key times and left others to “pick up the pieces”.

She told LBC news: “I think a number of candidates have spent a number of months preparing their campaigns, yes.

“So there have been a number of times when she [Mordaunt] hasn’t been available which would have been useful and other ministers have picked up the pieces, yes.”

Candidates arrive for Conservative leader hustings

14:17 , Elly Blake

Penny Mordaunt said she was taking nothing for granted as she arrived for a behind-closed-doors 1922 Committee hustings in Parliament.

Asked if she was confident she told reporters: “We’ll see. You can never take anything for granted.”

Ms Mordaunt has come second in the first two rounds of voting.

Lively 1922 Committee hustings coming to an end

14:50 , Elly Blake

Banging on tables could be heard just before Rishi Sunak left the 1922 Committee hustings.

Asked how it went, the Tory leadership frontrunner told reporters: “All good, enjoying it.”

Penny Mordaunt said it was “all very good, all very jolly.”

Meanwhile, Kemi Badenoch said the 1922 Committee hustings went well.

Asked if she was feeling confident as she left, she told reporters: “Yes, always.”

Labour question defence jobs

15:00 , Elly Blake

Defence investment has not created thousands of jobs promised by the Government, Labour has claimed.

At Defence Questions, shadow secretary of state John Healey congratulated ministers for remaining in post “whilst the rest of the Conservative Government have collapsed in chaos”.

He added: “On defence jobs pledges, he has been Defence Secretary since the Prime Minister nearly two years ago boosted defence spending and boasted this would create 10,000 jobs every year.

“Only 800 new defence jobs have been created since then. Why the failure?”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace replied: “I would be happy for him to share me his 800 figure. First and foremost we have started investing that £41.3 billion into the land scheme, a huge amount of that will be obviously in Boxer and indeed in Challenger 3, generating huge numbers of jobs.”

Mr Wallace also claimed that “replenishing some of our ammunition stocks” would also “involve more jobs”.

House of Commons dress code relaxes for MPs as temperatures soar

15:03 , Elly Blake

MPs have been told they can ditch their jackets in the House of Commons chamber for the rest of the week due to soaring temperatures.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle confirmed the loosening of the dress code at the start of business on Monday, with temperatures possibly reaching 40C (104F) on Tuesday.

Sir Lindsay said the chamber is kept at a “constantly comfortable temperature” but acknowledged that MPs have to move around the parliamentary estate.

“Therefore, while the heat remains at this exceptional level and for the remainder of this week, I’m content for members not to wear jackets and ties in the chamber if they so choose,” he said.

“When the House returns in the autumn I’d expect members to revert to wearing a jacket.”

‘Today is going to be a tough day,’ says Sunak supporter

15:26 , Elly Blake

An MP supporting Rishi Sunak said “today is going to be quite a tough day for us” over the leadership ballot.

They said Mr Sunak gave a “colleague-focused pitch on campaigning” in the 1922 Committee hustings.

The MP said candidates are being asked a variety of questions in the hustings, including on bringing the party together after the leadership election.

They told reporters: “Today is going to be quite a tough day for us in terms of the ballot, because if you look at the free votes sort of floating around from the candidate that got knocked out last week, I think it’s probably fair to say that we’re not going to pick up very many of those, I suspect.

“So assuming everybody else votes for who they voted for… I wouldn’t expect our vote to massively increase today.”

Tom Tugendhat says he will not withdraw ahead of crunch vote later

15:35 , Elly Blake

Tom Tugendhat has said he will not withdraw from the Tory leadership race, despite facing the prospect of being eliminated in the latest ballot of MPs on Monday.

In a speech to a behind-closed-doors hustings organised by the backbench 1922 Committee, Mr Tugendhat indicated he was aware his backing from Tory MPs is likely to be below that his rivals.

The PA news agency understands he told MPs: “Tonight we go to the voting booth again.

“And some colleagues have suggested that I should step aside, that I should fall in behind someone else, that I’ve run a good campaign and can leave with my head held high.

“It will come as no surprise that some have suggested I could leave with a job as well. But my view is clear. It is not for me to make that decision – it is for you.

“Were I to withdraw now then somebody else would be eliminated tonight without the opportunity to make their case further, without the chance for you to judge them, to look at their record and to make one of the most consequential decisions of our time in Parliament.”

Liz Truss pitched ‘heavyweight credentials’ during hustings

15:36 , Elly Blake

Tory leadership contender Liz Truss pitched her “heavyweight credentials on the economy” at the 1922 Committee hustings, according to a source for her campaign.

The source told the PA news agency: “Liz made her pitch about her heavyweight credentials on the economy and her track record in delivering Brexit opportunities.

“The next election will be about the cost of living and Liz is the only candidate with the plan and experience to deliver a proper Conservative economic agenda.”

Tom Tugendhat: I deplore the infighting

15:51 , Elly Blake

Tory leadership hopeful Tom Tugendhat attacked the “infighting”, “sniping” and “smears” of the campaign so far to replace Boris Johnson.

In a speech to a behind-closed-doors hustings organised by the backbench 1922 Committee, the PA news agency understands he hit out at the hostilities between rival camps as he warned that the Conservatives must unite after the bitter contest.

“Let’s not forget that when this is over we must come together. We must unite and we must speak as one. I have deplored the infighting, the sniping, the blue on blue, the attacks and the smears. We do not need this, now or ever.

“Because we are fighting on every flank.

“The Labour Party, resurgent but easily beatable, are benefitting from our disunity and division.”

Mr Tugendhat also told Tory MPs he was not planning to give a concession speech ahead of another round of balloting later on Monday, but said he was also not naive.

“I’m well aware of the mountain I still have to climb.”

Steve Barclay: Party will unite behind new PM

16:05 , Elly Blake

Cabinet minister Steve Barclay said the Tory party would unite behind the new prime minister despite rows during the “vigorous” leadership contest.

The Health Secretary, a Rishi Sunak supporter, told reporters: “I think it’s hugely healthy for the party that we have such a strong field of candidates for Members of Parliament and then the membership to choose from.

“The party will unite behind the new prime minister, and it’s good that we have a full and vigorous debate on the issues.”

Labour launches scathing attack on PM in the Commons

16:13 , Elly Blake

The Prime Minister is too busy planning for parties instead of planning for Britain, Labour has said.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Fleur Anderson told the Commons: “Once again, when faced by a national emergency driven by the climate emergency, which they could see coming a mile off, ministers were asleep at the wheel.

“The Prime Minister is too busy planning parties instead of planning for Britain. Is anyone else having deja vu?

“The Prime Minister has already missed two Cobra meetings, as has been acknowledged, on the red heat warning and is set to miss a third – the same man who missed five Cobra meetings in the weeks preceding the onset of the pandemic.

“This finished Prime Minister has already clocked off, it’s clear, but with 49 dangerous days to go.”

Ms Anderson said the “heatwave is a reminder the Government has not tackled the growing climate emergency facing our country”, adding: “Where is the plan for the delivery of essential services and how people will be kept safe at work, on transport, in hospitals, care homes and schools in the coming days?

“Where is the advice for vulnerable workers facing working in unbearable conditions?”

New Boris Johnson documentary on its way

17:06 , Robert Dex

Channel 4, which has been threatened with privatisation by the government, has announced a new documentary series about Boris Johnson.

The series, which will stretch across four hour long episodes, is simply called Boris.

A spokesman for the Channel said it would use “rare archive footage” and interviews with people “with intimate knowledge of Johnson over the years” to give “greater insight” into the man and his career.

PM expects to win confidence vote

17:20 , Robert Dex

The Prime Minister said he expected to “win” the vote of confidence in his Government.

Opening the debate he said he had “no idea” why Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had insisted on the vote prompting the Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to tell him “it’s actually the Government that’s put it down today”.

The Prime Minister added: “He (Sir Keir) wants one and since they want one, it’s his constitutional prerogative, we will comply and we will win.”

Conservative MP: Party repeating Labour’s mistake in losing a leader

17:22 , Robert Dex

One Conservative MP said his party was making the same mistake Labour made when it forced out Tony Blair as Prime Minister.

Michael Fabricant said: “I personally think that our party is making the same mistake that the Labour Party made when they knifed Tony Blair.”

PM admits he may be more popular in Kyiv than Kensington

17:43 , Robert Dex

Describing his Government’s support for Ukraine, Boris Johnson said: “If it is true that I’m more popular on the streets of Kyiv right now than I am in Kensington – if – that is because of the foresight and boldness of this Government in becoming the first European country to send them weapons, a decision that was made possible by the biggest investment in defence since the Cold War.

“Though I think that conflict will continue to be very hard, and our thoughts and prayers must continue to be with the people of Ukraine, I do believe that they must win and that they will win.”

Starmer says PM forced out in ‘disgrace'

17:54 , Robert Dex

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister was being forced out “in disgrace”.

The Labour leader said: “Unlike his predecessors, this Prime Minister has not been forced out over policy disagreements.

“And despite the delusions he has fostered in his bunker, he has not been felled by the stampede of an eccentric herd. Instead, he has been forced out in disgrace.”

All five potential leaders commit to net zero by 2050

18:16 , Robert Dex

All five of the remaining Conservative leadership contenders have committed to meeting net zero by 2050.

At a hustings organised by the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) and chaired by Cop26 President Alok Sharma, the candidates confirmed their commitment to the UK’s net zero target.

Prior to the hustings, all the candidates except Kemi Badenoch had signed the CEN’s pledge to maintain the 2050 target.

Truss supporter praises Foreign Secretary’s track record as voting goes on

18:32 , Robert Dex

A Liz Truss supporter voting in the leadership ballot said the Foreign Secretary’s experience means she is the right person for the job, as “there’s no shallow end in this swimming pool”.

They told reporters Ms Truss has a “strong track record of delivering on lots of different jobs” and “we need someone who can absolutely hit the ground running”.

“There’s no shallow end in this swimming pool, there’s no breaking-in period,” they said.

“It’s day one, straight at it, and she has demonstrably got the strongest track record of delivery.”

Asked if they felt Ms Truss was safe in Monday’s ballot, they said: “I think that there’s a reason why she’s had very strong backing throughout,” adding her performance in Sunday’s debate “will have reinforced in the minds of a lot of people that she is the right person for the job”.

Davey: PM has ‘debased high office'

19:57 , Daniel Keane

We are awaiting the result of the leadership vote at 8pm.

Away from the ballot in the Commons, Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has been giving a speech during the confidence debate.

He said Boris Johnson "has debased the high office of the British prime minister" and "shattered the public's trust in our politics".

He added: "This Government has plunged our country, our great country, into three serious crises: the cost-of-living crisis, the healthcare crisis and a political crisis.

"It's shockingly evident that the Conservative Party opposite is totally out of touch with the financial and healthcare catastrophes facing millions of British families and pensioners later this year."

In the "so-called" debates between the Conservative leadership candidates, he said "there's this massive elephant in the room called the energy bill catastrophe".

He argued: "He (Mr Johnson) has debased the high office of the British prime minister and he has shattered the public's trust in our politics, but he didn't act alone. For three years, those on the benches opposite have backed him to the hilt... Conservative MPs defended the indefensible and excused the inexcusable."

Breaking: Tugendhat out of leadership race

20:04 , Daniel Keane

Tom Tugendhat has been eliminated from the Tory leadership race after securing 31 votes.

Here are the results in full:

- Rishi Sunak received 115 votes

- Kemi Badenoch received 58 votes

- Penny Mordaunt received 82 votes

- Liz Truss received 71 votes

Mordaunt supporter denies ‘disappointing’ performance

20:08 , Daniel Keane

Tory MP George Freeman, who is on Penny Mordaunt’s team, denied that her performance was disappointing after she failed to pick up new votes.

He told Sky News that the elimination of Tom Tugendhat would see One Nation Tories flock to Ms Mordaunt’s team.

“She’s Cabinet grade but a fresh face. There’s a lot of support from Penny Mordaunt in the country.”

Duncan-Smith urges Badenoch supporters to join Truss’ camp

20:17 , Daniel Keane

Iain Duncan-Smith, a supporter of Liz Truss, has said that Penny Mordaunt is “stalling”.

He told Sky News that he hoped that supporters of Kemi Badenoch would eventually come over to Ms Truss’ camp.

Tugendhat thanks supporters

20:23 , Daniel Keane

After his elimination from the Tory leadership contest, Tom Tugendhat said he will listen to what other candidates have to say before deciding who to support.

In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Tugendhat said: "That is the end of the road for me in this race, but look, it has been an amazing run, I'm incredibly proud of the team, I'm incredibly grateful to all the supporters who have been with me at some - if not all - stages of the race we fought for a clean start because we know that that's what the country is crying out for.

"We've seen that in the response to the two debates, we've seen that in the engagement we've had from people.

"Now I'm going to be with you, of course, over the next two years, fighting in the council elections and then fighting again in the general election and then long into the future, because we need to make sure that our party, the Conservative Party, is able to deliver a clean start for the country and for ourselves.

"But please, I'm not going to be talking about any candidates at the moment, I'll listen to what they have to say and I'll be making my judgment later."

Badenoch supporters ‘will decide who becomes PM'

20:32 , Daniel Keane

Steve Baker, who previously supported Suella Braverman, has suggested that Kemi Badenoch’s supporters could decide the future of the leadership election.

Sunak campaign hails ‘good result'

20:47 , Daniel Keane

A source for Rishi Sunak's campaign said the former chancellor had achieved a "good result" in the latest leadership ballot.

They told the PA news agency: "A good result for Rishi after two TV debates and a consistent and sensible message.

"MPs are recognising that Rishi has the best experience and plans to deal with the current economic situation. Rishi will rebuild our economy by gripping inflation and getting our economy growing quickly again."

Badenoch says she is in it to win

20:55 , Robert Dex

Kemi Badenoch tweeted: “On to the next vote. Thank you to all my colleagues for their support. It’s all to play for.

“Continued momentum, closing the gap, I am the only change candidate left in the race. I’m in it to win.”

Mordaunt tribute to Tugendhat

20:56 , Robert Dex

Penny Mordaunt said: “My vote is steady and I’m grateful to my colleagues for all their support and thrilled to be in second place once more.

“MPs know that I’m a strong candidate, running a truly clean campaign and putting forward a positive vision for the party and our country.

“Tom Tugendhat MP is a friend and colleague who I’ve admired for years, I know that we are both committed to a clean start for our party and I believe he is one of the strongest assets on the Conservative green benches.

“It was an honour to stand alongside him in this contest.”

Tugendhat to decide preferred candidate on Tuesday

21:00 , Robert Dex

It is reported tonight Tom Tugendhat will decide on Tuesday who to support in the remainder of the contest to become Prime Minister.

Badenoch backer says she has momentum

21:02 , Robert Dex

A source for Kemi Badenoch’s campaign told the PA news agency their candidate had “momentum” over their rivals.

They said: “Kemi is pleased to have taken it to the next vote. She has momentum over both Mordaunt and Truss. It’s all to play for and Kemi is in it to win.

“She wants to deliver change and is the only candidate in the race capable of delivering it.”

Sunak says he can defeat Labour

21:03 , Robert Dex

Rishi Sunak tweeted: “I want to thank all the colleagues who supported me tonight.

“Together we can rebuild our economy, keep Brexit safe and defeat Labour.”

Pundits tipping Badenoch for big things

21:12 , Robert Dex

Big name pundits are increasingly talking up Kemi Badenoch’s potential to cause an upset after tonight’s vote.

ITV’s Robert Peston says the “big fight” is between her and Liz Truss for second place, while the BBC’s Nick Robinson said she had “turned herself not just into a King/Queen maker but, potentially, the one who inherits the crown”.

MP praises diverse field

21:18 , Robert Dex

Conservative MP Guy Opperman praised the diversity of the line-up for the leadership contest, saying whatever happened now “We are now going to either elect our 3rd female Prime Minister, or Britain’s first BAME male Prime Minister”.

Peston says Gove a potential problem for Badenoch

21:27 , Robert Dex

Haviing praised Kemi Badenoch’s campaign, ITV’s Robert Peston highlighted one problem she faced -the presence of her early backed Michael Gove might put off hardcore Brexiters who would other wise back her.

22:05 , Robert Dex

That ends our coverage tonight. See you tomorrow for the latest twists and turns in the contest to become the next Prime Minister.

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