Tory leadership race live: Ten MPs enter first round of voting

Ten candidates have secured the necessary nominations to enter the first round of voting in the Tory leadership race.

The final list was announced after former minister Sam Gyimah declared he was withdrawing after being unable to build up enough support.

Here’s the latest:


The ten contenders and their views on Brexit are here:


International Development Secretary Rory Stewart has described himself as the “anti-Boris” candidate, saying he is the only contender capable of beating the former foreign secretary.

“I think I am the only person who can beat him. We are facing a very, very fundamental choice,” he told reporters at Westminster as the nominations were announced.

“That choice is between Boris’s Brexit and my Brexit, between somebody who is attempting to out-Farage Farage and somebody like me who believes in the centre ground.”


Here is a breakdown of who is backing who:

Michael Gove was proposed by George Eustice and seconded by Nicky Morgan.

Matt Hancock was backed by Damian Green and Tracey Crouch.

Mark Harper’s supporters were Jackie Doyle-Price and Steve Double.

Jeremy Hunt’s backers were Liam Fox and Sir Patrick McLoughlin.

Sajid Javid’s were Robert Halfon and Victoria Atkins.

Boris Johnson’s were Liz Truss and Ben Wallace.

Andrea Leadsom’s were Chris Heaton-Harris and Heather Wheeler.

Esther McVey’s were Gary Streeter and Ben Bradley.

Dominic Raab’s were David Davis and Maria Miller.

Rory Stewart’s were David Gauke and Victoria Prentis.


Tory leadership race announcement
(l to r) Charles Walker and Dame Cheryl Gillan, joint acting chairs of the 1922 Committee, and Nigel Evans at the announcement of the names of the ten candidates (Stefan Rousseau/PA)


(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)


Breaking news
Breaking news

Ten contenders in the Tory leadership race have been nominated to go through to the first round of voting by MPs, the joint acting chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee Dame Cheryl Gillan has said.

The candidates are: Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, Rory Stewart, Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Mark Harper.


Michael Gove took aim at rival Boris Johnson as he launched his campaign:


Conservative former minister Sam Gyimah has announced he is pulling out of the Tory leadership race because there has “not been enough time to build sufficient support”.


Here is a round-up of the day’s events:


Around five minutes before the deadline, Andrea Leadsom tweeted: “Just handed in my nomination papers – thanks so much to all those supporting! Looking forward to the campaign launch 9.45am tomorrow.”


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At her launch, Esther McVey said Eamonn Holmes was behind an apparent feud with Lorraine Kelly.


Mr Gove said that he would be prepared to delay Bexit if talks were progressing.

He said: “Yes, I would be willing to delay, for a day, or a week, or whatever is required, in order to get that deal over the line if we were making progress.”


Asked about why previous cocaine use is not a disqualification to be Prime Minister when it could potentially risk a teacher being disqualified from their job, Mr Gove said: “If someone had said that before they entered teaching they had made mistakes, that would be no bar.

“There has been some misreporting about the way in which actually those terms apply to teachers.”

Michael Gove
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)


Mr Gove insisted he is still in the Conservative Party leadership race “to win it” after his admission of cocaine use led to calls to withdraw.

Asked if it was time to call it a day, Mr Gove declared: “I’m in it to win it.

“The one thing that I would say is that there are some fantastic people in this room and, more than that, I’ve been told in the past that I couldn’t succeed.

“I was told when I led the Leave campaign ‘you’re only on 33% in the polls, you guys will tank, you’ll lose by a landslide’ and we won.

“I was told when I was education secretary ‘you’ll never be able to transform education in this country, it’s eluded every education secretary before you’, but we changed it.

“I was told when I arrived at the Department for the Environment ‘do you know what, it’s an impossible task to please all of these people – you’ll either end up upsetting business or losing the trust of green groups’ but actually we were able to bring business and green groups together.

“So, every time I’ve been given a job I’ve been told it’s impossible and have delivered.”


Dominic Raab and Matt Hancock
Leadership hopefuls Dominic Raab (left) and Matt Hancock at the launch of the Centre for Policy Studies essay collection on Britain Beyond Brexit (David Mirzoeff/PA)


Asked about his admission of previous cocaine use, Mr Gove said: “I explained … my regret at my past mistakes.

“But, one of the consequences of having had the chance to reflect on my mistakes, is that when I was Justice Secretary I was determined to ensure that those people who had fallen into the net of the criminal justice system were given all the support, the help and the care they needed in order to achieve redemption and to enjoy a second chance.”


Mr Gove said he would be prepared to delay Brexit beyond October 31 if negotiations with the EU on a new deal were making progress.

He said that if, in those circumstances, the UK was to leave without a deal, it would lead to a Labour government.

“There would be a vote of confidence in the House of Commons that the Government would lose, there would be a general election. We would have Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street by Christmas,” he said.

“So yes, I would be willing to delay for a day, or a week, or whatever is required to get that deal over the line if we were making progress.”


Mr Gove said: “One thing I will never do as prime minister is to use our tax and benefits system to give the already wealthy another tax cut.”

He added: “I will abolish business rates for the small and medium-sized enterprises that are at the heart of our high streets.”


Tory leadership race
Environment Secretary Michael Gove launches his campaign in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)


Mr Gove said: “We should look at VAT and potentially introduce a new sales tax.

“Because VAT is a regressive and complicated tax that hits the poor hardest.”


Mr Gove said that one of the reasons why Britain had still not left the EU was because some of those involved in the negotiations had not really believed in Brexit.

“I think some of them felt this was a problem to be managed rather than a opportunity to be grasped,” he said.

“But you know what? It is not enough just to believe in Brexit. You have also got to be able to deliver on it.

“One of may concerns when I was out of government and on the backbenches is that we triggered Article 50 without proper plan for Brexit. I have a proper plan to deliver Brexit.”

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Mr Gove said that Brexit was an “unshamedly personal” matter for him, having been one of the leaders of the official Vote Leave campaign in the referendum.

“I made a decision to join the campaign I led from the front and I knew in so doing I would be putting friendships at risk and my family under the spotlight,” he said.

“But I did it for one reason. I believed it was the right thing to do at a critical moment in our history.”


Dominic Raab had earlier unveiled his bid:


Environment Secretary Michael Gove has officially launched his bid to be Tory leader and Prime Minister.

Referring to his adoption at four months old, Mr Gove said: “I remember my mum telling me about my adoption – son, she said, you didn’t grow under my heart, you grew in it.”


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Amber Rudd and Lucia Hunt
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd (left) with Lucia Hunt, the wife of Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt during his launch campaign (Victoria Jones/PA)


(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)


Mark Harper says he has been nominated for the Conservative leadership.

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Watch: An angry protester disrupts Esther McVey’s Tory leadership campaign launch


Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart has said he has the necessary eight signatures to get through to the first round of voting.


Watch: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt makes his bid for the Tory leadership.


Esther McVey
Esther McVey said she wanted to lead the ‘greatest political party ever, the Conservative Party’ (David Mirzoeff/PA)
Tory leadership race
Protester Graham Moore stormed the stage after her speech (David Mirzoeff/PA)


Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has hit out at Boris Johnson’s plan to cut the higher rate of income tax.

Mr Johnson used his Daily Telegraph column to signal a plan to slash the higher rate of tax for people earning more than £50,000.

Mr McDonnell tweeted: “Irresponsible & shameful of Johnson & other Tory leadership candidates to add to handouts to the richest when our public services urgently need funding.

“Labour will ask the top 5% to pay a bit more to help rebuild the public services we all rely on.”


Earlier today, Lorraine Kelly appeared to “snub” her former GMTV colleague Esther McVey on air.

During a live link to ITV’s Lorraine from Good Morning Britain, where Ms McVey appeared as a guest, Susanna Reid said: “Do you remember Esther McVey from her GMTV days?”

Kelly glossed over the question, shook her head and said curtly: “Yeah, yes I do. OK, coming up after half past eight…”


Immediately after the speech a heckler, who described himself as a “paid-up member” of the Tory Party, took to the podium to shout: “Excuse me, you are all fake news and these people are fake Conservatives.”


Officially launching her leadership bid, Esther McVey promised to give public sector workers a pay rise, and boost funding for policing and education.

Esther McVey
(David Mirzoeff/PA)

Speaking at a meeting of the eurosceptic Bruges Group in central London she said: “I want to stand for leader of the greatest political party ever, the Conservative Party.

“My clear agenda is to deliver Brexit on the 31st of October and then we must unite the country, and then unite our party too.”

She added: “Britain’s public sector workers need a pay rise and our police and our schools desperately need cash. That’s what my campaign is about.”


Meanwhile, leadership hopeful Esther McVey refused to let the weather put a dampener on proceedings as she visited the Bruges Group think tank in central London.

Esther McVey
(David Mirzoeff/PA)


Concluding his speech, Mr Hunt said: “Choose me for unity over division. For experience over rhetoric.

“For tough negotiation over empty threats.

“Choose me and I will take us through this time of crisis, deliver Brexit, and make our country walk tall in the world.”

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Mr Hunt warned that the Tories would be “annihilated” if the party fights a general election before delivering Brexit.

He said: “With me to face the unyielding Brussels machine you’ll be sending in a prime minister who has been negotiating all his life.

“I’ve always said I would be prepared to leave without a deal if there was a straight choice between no deal and no Brexit. But I would do so with a heavy heart because of the risks to businesses and the risks to the union.

Tory leadership race
Jeremy Hunt’s wife Lucia listens to his address (Victoria Jones/PA)

“And I would not do so if a deal that commands the support of Parliament was in sight. But Parliament has made clear its intentions to take no deal off the table no matter what the new prime minister says or does.

“So without a deal any prime minister who promised to leave by a certain date would have to call a general election to change the parliamentary arithmetic. And that is an election we would lose badly.

“Because the lessons of the European and Peterborough elections are clear. If we fight an election before delivering Brexit, we will be annihilated.”


Mr Hunt said: “Our failure to deliver Brexit has put our country and our party in grave peril.

“The leadership I offer is based on one simple truth: without Brexit there will be no Conservative government and maybe no Conservative Party.

“Whoever delivers Brexit will win the next election for the Conservative Party. But without Brexit, no Conservative prime minister can win.

Jeremy Hunt
(Victoria Jones/PA)

“So delivering Brexit and winning the next election are not different things – they are the same.

“And the person most likely to do that is someone who can negotiate a deal that will pass through Parliament.

“As an entrepreneur and Cabinet minister who has spent his whole life doing negotiations, I am that person.”


Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt was revealed as a new backer for Jeremy Hunt, introducing the Foreign Secretary as he launched his bid for Number 10.

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The support of the Brexiteer Defence Secretary is a boost to Mr Hunt as he attempts to build support across the Tory Party.

Ms Mordaunt said: “I trust him on Brexit because I have seen him in Cabinet over the last year.

“It’s true he has credibility from all sides, but he also took a side. He fought for a deal but also knew that we had to leave no deal on the table to secure a good deal.”


Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is preparing to make his bid for the top job.

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Watch: Matt Hancock launches Tory leadership bid.


The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Theresa May “continues to have full confidence in Michael Gove and the job which he is doing” following the Environment Secretary’s admission of cocaine use.


Dominic Raab has painted himself as “the conviction Brexiteer with a plan” and said the UK’s departure from the EU cannot be delivered with “bluff and bluster” as he set out his stall to be the next Tory leader.

In his keynote speech on Monday, the former Brexit secretary spelled out his desire to break from the EU by October 31 even without a deal if necessary.

Dominic Raab
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“We’re up against it and we won’t deliver Brexit with bluff and bluster,” he told the London event.

“I’m the conviction Brexiteer with the plan, the discipline and the focus to lead us out by the end of October.”

He also vowed to return to Brussels to make a “best final offer” to replace the controversial backstop.

And he said he would restore discipline in Government and bring forward a “Brexit budget” to cope with “this period of uncertainty”.


Meanwhile, Victoria Derbyshire suffered an embarrassment during her BBC Two show when she mispronounced the name of Jeremy Hunt, uttering a certain expletive.

Derbyshire made the error during a four-way debate over who should be the next Tory leader. She said she was especially embarrassed because it was usually men who made the mistake.

Victoria Derbyshire blunders over Jeremy Hunt’s surname
Victoria Derbyshire blunders over Jeremy Hunt’s surname (BBC/PA)


TV’s Judge Robert Rinder was among those attending Matt Hancock’s campaign launch.

Judge Rinder
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)


Mr Hancock vowed to increase the national living wage to more than £10 an hour. He said this would increase the pay of people on the living wage by £3,500 a year.

He also pledged to reduce taxes on working people “when we can afford it”.

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Matt Hancock said he would deliver Brexit by the end of October with a deal.

When asked whether he would call a general election or delay Brexit if he did not get a deal through, Mr Hancock insisted his proposed deal would succeed.

He said: “I think that having a general election before we deliver Brexit would be a democratic disaster.

“I am confident the deal I put forward is deliverable both in Europe and in Parliament.”

Asked what he would do if it did not pass before the deadline he added: “I am not running to fail, I am running to succeed in these negotiations.”


Tory leadership contest timetable
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock ruled out proroguing Parliament to ensure the UK leaves the EU on October 31, as he made his bid for party leadership.

Tory leadership race
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He said: “My Brexit delivery plan is the only credible plan that can deliver Brexit by the 31st October with the support both of the European Union and the House of Commons – that is just the reality of the situation.

“Some have said ‘stick with the current plan’, but the current plan has been seen to fail.

“Others say ‘let’s just run at no-deal’, but the brutal truth is we know that no-deal will not get through the House of Commons.

“And then there’s this idea from some people that to deliver Brexit we should suspend our parliamentary democracy – that we should prorogue Parliament.

“But that goes against everything that those men who waded onto those beaches fought and died for, and I will not have it.”


Watch: Who are the contenders so far?


Tory leadership contest latest odds
(PA Graphics)


Nominations have opened in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

Candidates must submit nominations by 5pm. They need a proposer, seconder and six other supporting MPs.

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