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LIVE: Braverman eliminated from Tory leadership race as Sunak tops second ballot

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Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak has come out on top in the second round of voting in the Tory leadership contest, with trade minister Penny Mordaunt once again in second place and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in third.

Suella Braverman has been eliminated after finishing last.

The other candidates that remain in the contest are equalities minister Kemi Badenoch and MP Tom Tugendhat.

A further ballot will be held on Monday, but before then the candidates will go head-to-head in TV debates.

Here is the latest in the Tory leadership race:

4.10pm

We’re ending our live coverage of the Tory leadership contest now, with five candidates remaining in the race to enter Number 10 as Britain’s next prime minister.

Conservative leadership candidates
Another vote will be held on Monday (PA)

4.05pm

Senior Tory MP David Davis has criticised the “black ops” attacks being targeted at Penny Mordaunt, the party leadership candidate he supports.

Asked about Lord Frost and Simon Clarke’s earlier criticism of Ms Mordaunt, Mr Davis told Sky News: “I wouldn’t describe it as friendly fire.

“My comment when I saw it earlier was it’s absolutely clockwork – you get to the point that somebody gets ahead and looks to be the real challenger, and then the black op starts, the incoming fire starts.”

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt has consolidated her position after again finishing second in the leadership vote (PA)

4pm

Tom Tugendhat has confirmed he will take part in all the Tory leadership TV debates scheduled over the next few days.

“I will be attending all three televised debates,” he said on Twitter.

“Candidates and our ideas should be scrutinised.

“I look forward to the debates and the contest ahead.”

3.55pm

Let’s take a closer look at those remaining candidates:

3.50pm

Liz Truss supporter Simon Clarke has taken swipes at her Tory leadership rivals Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak.

Discussing the former chancellor’s approach to the economy with Sky News, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said: “We were all frustrated by some of the choices in terms of tax, obviously those are private discussions in Government when we were bound by collective responsibility.

“But I’m clear I favour a low-tax, pro-enterprise economy and I think Liz Truss has the right approach on that.”

Switching his aim to trade minister Ms Mordaunt, Mr Clarke said: “It is telling, I think, where current members of the Government are placing their support.

“That is reflected in a number of very senior ministers’ decisions about who to support in this race – they are not backing Ms Mordaunt.”

Conservative MPs
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, announces the results of the second ballot (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

3.45pm

A reminder of what happens next. Two TV debates among the remaining candidates are scheduled to take place over the weekend, ahead of the third round of voting on Monday.

In exactly one week’s time, and possibly before, we will know which two candidates will go head-to-head in a vote by all members of the party over the summer.

The result of that membership ballot will be announced on September 5.

POLITICS Tories
(PA Graphics)

3.40pm

The moment the result of the second round of voting was announced:

3.35pm

Rishi Sunak remains the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest.

After topping both ballots so far, he said: “I am incredibly grateful for the continued support from my colleagues and the wider public.

“I am prepared to give everything I have in service to our nation.

“Together we can restore trust, rebuild our economy and reunite the country.”

3.33pm

A supporter of Liz Truss said her campaign had picked up “solid momentum” in what had been a “difficult round” for the Foreign Secretary.

Treasury Chief Secretary Simon Clarke said there was a limited pool of support they could have plausibly won over from the supporters of the candidates eliminated in the first round.

“This is very much on the trajectory we thought,” he said. “We are attracting broad support from people across the party.”

Fellow Truss supporter Nadine Dorries made a plea for more Tories to join them, saying on Twitter it is “now time for us all to unite behind a candidate who actually has the ability to lead the country as PM”.

3.30pm

POLITICS Tories
(PA Graphics)

3.25pm

While Tom Tugendhat continues his campaign for “a clean start” for the Tories, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Britain needs a “much more fundamental change than that”.

He said the answer to “the stagnation of the last 12 years” is not a new Tory leader.

“This is like a club that’s sinking into relegation, desperately changing the manager,” Sir Keir said.

“That is not the change that we need. We need to change the government, a fresh start for Britain, and that is what my Labour Party is able to offer.”

3.20pm

Tom Tugendhat dropped five votes to come second last in the latest round of voting, but he insists he isn’t going anywhere.

He said on Twitter that his campaign continues, and he is ready to put forward “my vision for Britain” during the TV debates.

3.15pm

Rishi Sunak is the only candidate to have seen their backers number more than 100 so far. The former chancellor won 101 this time round, compared to 88 in the first vote on Wednesday.

Rishi Sunak
The vote numbers show many Tory MPs are indeed ‘ready for Rishi’ to become prime minister (PA)

3.10pm

Liz Truss’s campaign has suggested Suella Braverman’s supporters should now back the Foreign Secretary.

A spokeswoman for Ms Truss said: “Today’s results show that Liz Truss is attracting a wide range of supporters from across the Conservative Party.

“Suella Braverman ran a campaign that she can rightly be proud.

“As Liz set out in her speech, now is the time for MPs to unite behind the candidate who will cut taxes, deliver the real economic change we need, continue to deliver the benefits of Brexit and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine.

“Liz Truss has the experience to deliver from day one, grow our economy and support working families, and then beat Labour.”

Liz Truss
Liz Truss should now have the support of Suella Braverman’s backers, according to the Foreign Secretary’s campaign (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

3.05pm

In the second round of voting, Rishi Sunak received the backing of 101 MPs, Penny Mordaunt secured 83 votes, Liz Truss got 64, Kemi Badenoch 49, Tom Tugendhat 32 and Suella Braverman 27 – five fewer than she had in Wednesday’s first round of the contest.

3pm

Attorney General Suella Braverman has been eliminated from the Tory leadership race following the second round of voting by party MPs.

2.08pm

So, what next?

Votes are being counted following the second round of the contest, with the candidate in last place losing both their place in the race and the chance to take part in TV debates over the coming days.

Tory MPs will continue to vote in subsequent rounds until there are just two candidates, who will then battle it out over the summer to win the support of Conservative members, with their choice of the next prime minister being unveiled on September 5.

Mr Johnson will then formally tender his resignation to the Queen to make way for his successor the following day.

2pm

Ms Truss’s comments that children she went to school with were let down by low expectations and poor educational standards have been branded “shameful” by political leaders in the city where she was educated.

The Foreign Secretary made the references to her comprehensive state schooling in Leeds as she launched her leadership campaign on Thursday.

Ms Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, said: “I didn’t come from a traditional conservative background. I grew up in Paisley, and I went to a comprehensive school in Leeds.

“Many of the children I was at school with were let down by low expectations, poor educational standards and a lack of opportunity.

“Too much talent went to waste.”

Ms Truss went to Roundhay School in the 1980s and 1990s – a school which has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted since 2013.

Labour councillor and Leeds City Council leader James Lewis said on Twitter: “Like Liz Truss, I went to Leeds Council schools in the Thatcher and Major years and the truth is it was Conservative government underfunding of schools for 18 years that really let kids down.”

1.35pm

Liz Truss will be hoping she has more luck negotiating her way through the leadership contest than she did finding the exit at her campaign launch event:

1.30pm

The second round of voting in the Tory leadership election has ended.

The result will be announced at 3pm.

The last-placed candidate among Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat and Suella Braverman will be eliminated.

Those who survive will go head-to-head in the first leadership debate on Friday evening.

Conservative leadership candidates
Which candidate will be eliminated after the second round of voting? (PA)

1pm

With just half-an-hour until the second ballot closes, a source in Tom Tugendhat’s campaign said they believe he has enough votes to stay in the contest.

They said they are confident of enough support to get a “one nation” Tory voice through to the next round and the TV debates.

Mr Tugendhat expects to pick up some votes that had gone to Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi in the previous round, the source added.

Tom Tugendhat
Will Tom Tugendhat’s promise of a ‘clean start’ secure the support of enough Tories to see him through to the next round? (PA)

12.55pm

Observers will be keen to see whether Lord Frost’s intervention in the contest will affect support for Penny Mordaunt.

The former Brexit minister has claimed Ms Mordaunt, his deputy in talks with the EU last year, had lacked a grasp of the detail and had been unwilling to deliver tough messages to Brussels.

He said he therefore has “grave reservations” about whether Ms Mordaunt is now fit to be the next prime minister.

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt came second in the first leadership ballot (PA)

But allies of Ms Mordaunt said she has “nothing but respect” for Lord Frost, despite his scathing attack.

A source said: “He did a huge amount to assist our negotiations until he resigned from Government.

“Penny will always fight for Brexit and always has.”

12.40pm

While allies of Liz Truss urged Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch to abandon their leadership bids, the Attorney General said she will do no such thing.

Ms Braverman’s team believes getting her into the live TV debates, due to begin on Friday night, is key to her chances.

The Attorney General said: “We are in this to win it.”

She said her plan to leave the European Convention on Human Rights and be “fearless in the fight for common sense vales” are popular with voters.

12.15pm

Liz Truss remains a frontrunner in the race to Number 10, and on Thursday morning she set out why she believes she should be Britain’s next prime minister:

12.10pm

Conservative MPs have until 1.30pm to cast their ballots in the second round of voting for their new leader.

The lowest placed of the six remaining candidates will be eliminated, though pressure is already growing from Liz Truss’s allies for Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch to abandon their bids and for their supporters on the right of the party to unite around the Foreign Secretary.

Ms Braverman scraped into the second round with 32 votes – candidates with fewer than 30 were eliminated – while Ms Badenoch had 40.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, a key player in the Truss campaign, told Sky News: “The reason why I think that supporters of Suella and Kemi should come and join Liz is because a lot of their policies are in a very similar direction, about having a free economy, about making sure we stand up for the United Kingdom and be proud of our country.”

Liz Truss
Liz Truss’s backers say she is the best candidate for supporters of Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch to switch their allegiance to (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

11.50pm

Liz Truss was surrounded by senior Tories for the launch of her leadership campaign.

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey were among the high-profile names in the audience, while Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng introduced Ms Truss to the stage.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries and Sir Iain Duncan Smith were in the audience to show their support for Liz Truss (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

11.35am

A small queue of Tory MPs formed in the Commons committee corridor ahead of polls opening for the second round of the leadership contest.

Voting began at 11.30am and MPs have until 1.30pm to cast their ballot, with the result being announced at 3pm.

11.25am

Tom Tugendhat said all Tory leadership candidates have to be prepared for criticism, following Lord Frost’s broadside against Penny Mordaunt.

The former Brexit minister has said he would have “grave reservations” about Ms Mordaunt being prime minister, as he claimed she had lacked a grasp of the detail and was unwilling to deliver
tough messages to Brussels while serving as his deputy in talks with the EU last year.

Mr Tugendhat told reporters in Westminster: “It’s not always easy but I think it’s fair because if you are running for an office like this it is fair that those who know you express views.

“Some of them are going to be nice, some of them less so.

“This is a really short interview round for a hell of a big job.”

11.15am

Tom Tugendhat has suggested many Tory MPs may vote differently in the second round of the ballot.

During a press conference in Westminster, the leadership hopeful said “I can tell you that a lot of people – a lot of people – are looking at the options before them today and thinking differently about the votes they made yesterday, and that’s not surprising.”

On whether he will withdraw from the race, he added: “I offered to serve, and that’s what I’ll do, and it’s up to others to decide whether or not they they wish to have me.

“That’s, I’m afraid, how democracy works. But I don’t quit.”

Mr Tugendhat has been pushing his case to Tories weary of the Johnson Government under the banner “A clean start” – emphasising he is the only one of the candidates “untainted by the last two years” as he did not have a ministerial role.

10.55am

As Tories fight amongst themselves to elect their new leader, whoever takes over in Number 10 will have the backing of their own party – but what about the support of the country? The latest opinion polls show the gap between Labour and the Conservatives is widening.

POLITICS Tories
(PA Graphics)

10.45am

Tom Tugendhat has said he will not withdraw from the Tory leadership race despite coming fifth in the first round of voting.

“I’m still in this fight,” he told reporters in Westminster.

He said picking up 37 votes as a backbencher shows there is an appetite for a “clean start”.

Conservative leadership candidates
Tory MPs will vote on the six candidates again on Thursday, with the person coming last then being eliminated (PA)

10.35am

Liz Truss was questioned on why she had not quit Boris Johnson’s Cabinet last week during the mass exodus of ministers.

“I am a loyal person,” she responded. “I am loyal to Boris Johnson. I supported our Prime Minister’s aspirations.”

Liz Truss and Boris Johnson
Liz Truss said she had supported the ‘aspirations’ of Boris Johnson (PA)

However, while she promised to continue the Government’s levelling-up ambitions, she also pledged a change of tack on the economy and to reverse the planned rise in national insurance.

Ms Truss dodged questions about worries she could be outflanked by rival Penny Mordaunt, instead stressing the wide array of talent the leadership contest is displaying.

10.30am

The Foreign Secretary admitted she does not have a conventional Tory background, but promised to deliver Conservative values while in office.

“I will campaign as a Conservative and I will govern as a Conservative,” she said.

“I am ready to be prime minister from day one.”

10.25am

As she launched her campaign for the Tory leadership, Liz Truss stressed her credentials to become prime minister as she vowed to focus on the economy.

Under the banner “Liz for leader”, the Foreign Secretary opened her speech with a clear message: “We are at a critical moment for our country.

“Now is the time to be bold, we cannot have business-as-usual economic management, which has led to low growth for decades.”

To shouts of “hear, hear”, she said it is time to deliver on Brexit and “win the fight for freedom, at home and abroad”.

Liz Truss
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is officially launching her campaign for the Tory leadership (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

10am

Allies of Liz Truss went on the attack against her leadership rival Penny Mordaunt, seizing on scathing comments on the trade minister from former Brexit minister Lord Frost.

He claimed on TalkTV that Ms Mordaunt – his deputy in Brexit talks last year – “did not master the detail that was necessary in the negotiations”, and “wouldn’t always deliver the tough messages” to the EU when they were required.

Lord Frost said he would therefore have “grave reservations” about whether Ms Mordaunt is fit to be the next prime minister.

The Truss campaign claimed Lord Frost’s warning “is a really serious one”, with Treasury Chief Secretary Simon Clarke adding: “Conservatives – and far more importantly our country – need a leader who is tested and ready.”

POLITICS Tories
(PA Graphics)
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