Sajid Javid Drops Out Of Tory Leadership Race As Election Reduced To Eight Candidates

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Eight candidates in the Conservative Party leadership race, (top row left to right), Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Nadhim Zahawi, and Liz Truss, (bottom row left to right) Tom Tugendhat, Jeremy Hunt, Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch. (Photo: UK Parliament via PA Media)
Eight candidates in the Conservative Party leadership race, (top row left to right), Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Nadhim Zahawi, and Liz Truss, (bottom row left to right) Tom Tugendhat, Jeremy Hunt, Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch. (Photo: UK Parliament via PA Media)

Eight candidates in the Conservative Party leadership race, (top row left to right), Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Nadhim Zahawi, and Liz Truss, (bottom row left to right) Tom Tugendhat, Jeremy Hunt, Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch. (Photo: UK Parliament via PA Media)

Sajid Javid has withdrawn from the race to be Tory leader, as the battle to succeed Boris Johnson has been narrowed to eight candidates on the leadership ballot.

Eleven candidates initially threw their hat in the ring but that has been whittled down after nominations closed today.

Those going through to the first round of the contest are frontrunner Rishi Sunak, foreign secretary Liz Truss, international trade minister Penny Mordant, attorney general Suella Braverman, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt and Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the foreign affairs select committee.

Also through are former minister for equalities Kemi Badenoch and chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.

All secured the required 20 nominations needed to stay in the race before the deadline of 6pm this evening.

The first round of voting will take place tomorrow, and will continue until only two candidates remain. They will need 30 nominations to stay in the race.

The final two will then be put before Tory party members, who will pick their choice for leader — and prime minister — on September 5.

In a statement, former health secretary Javid said: “Serving in government is a true privilege. It has been just seven days since I took the difficult decision to resign from the most important job I have ever had, as health secretary during a pandemic.

“Since then, I have set out the values and policies I think are right for the future of our great country. I believe the party must now look outwards, not inwards, if we are to win again.

“There is an abundance of both ideas and talent in our party. One of the candidates will be given the honour of becoming prime minister.

“I look forward to seeing the debate unfold and to see colleagues working together as a united Conservative Party once the leadership election is concluded.”

Moments after it was announced eight contenders will be on the ballot paper, Nadine Dorries took to Twitter to claim that one of Sunak’s supporters – ex-chief whip Gavin Williamson – had been trying to “syphon off” votes for Hunt so he would make it to the final run-off with Sunak.

“This is dirty tricks/a stitch up/dark arts. Take your pick. Team Rishi want the candidate they know they can definitely beat in the final two and that is Jeremy Hunt,” she tweeted.

Sunak is facing concerted efforts by Johnson’s allies to prevent the ex-chancellor entering No 10 after what they see as his disloyalty after resigning as chancellor last week, and helping end his premiership.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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