Published: Fri, June 21, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Stewart survives as Raab eliminated from Tory leadership race

Stewart survives as Raab eliminated from Tory leadership race

Guy Opperman, who is backing Michael Gove, said a frontrunner "had never won" a Tory leadership contest and he believed MPs would ultimately "coalesce" around an alternative to Mr Johnson.

Speaking as he waited to enter the room to vote, candidate Jeremy Hunt, now in third place after the morning tally, said he was feeling "confident but not overconfident..." Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond issued a warning to the leadership field, promising to "fight and fight again" for economic pragmatism and saying a no-deal scenario would endanger the Union while burning through a £27 billion Brexit war chest.

He went on to praise Mr Gove as one of the "brightest stars in the Conservative team".

Home Secretary Sajid Javid just made the minimum vote cut-off of 33, while surprise packet Rory Stewart, the International Development Secretary, almost doubling on his 17 votes from the last ballot to 37 on Tuesday's.

But following a lackluster performance in a televised debate on Tuesday night, Stewart shed support.

Mr Johnson picked up additional votes after hard Brexiteer Dominic Raab was booted out of the race yesterday.

Mr Johnson tweeted to thank his supporters after charging to victory.

His rise saw him hold several Cabinet posts, including his current as Home Secretary.

Mr Stewart said: "I am so moved and inspired by the support I have received over the last few weeks - it has given me a new faith in politics, a new belief in our country".

He said: "I believe he had an exciting vision for the United Kingdom and a pragmatic plan for delivering Brexit". "If I make the final two I look forward to having a civilised debate of ideas about the future of our country".

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Manfred said it's too soon to detail the particulars - as in, where the team would play post-season games, or in what stadiums. But he says he also believes "this concept" - referring to some kind of Montreal split - "is worthy of serious exploration".

After the result was announced, rumours began to circulate that Mr Johnson's team "lent" votes to Mr Hunt as they viewed him as an easier opponent in the final two. Gove and Hunt both say they would seek another postponement if needed to secure a deal, but only for a short time. Second, to create a majority-winning coalition of voters that includes the large number who voted Remain and backed Cameron in 2015.

Home secretary Sajid Javid - now polling last among the five candidates - said: "One of the fundamental mistakes we have made so far is that we didn't prepare well enough for "no deal" - and that's why we are in this mess today".

Results from the final ballot are expected in the week beginning July 22, after a month of campaigning by the final two candidates.

Mr Gove's decision to stand for the leadership in 2016 scuppered Mr Johnson's campaign and the wounds have not healed.

Speaking to media outside the select committee, Peters said he has always thought Johnson was a victor.

"The stakes are too high to allow anyone to sail through untested".

However, Mr Gove claimed on BBC Newsnight that he "won the debate", "because I had the most detailed answers and I have a clear plan to how we can deliver Brexit and make sure we get all the benefits of life outside the European Union".

Former candidate Dominic Raab left the room after voting without speaking to journalists.

"But I think they're too grown up adults, they both have more in common than separates them".

A Gove campaign source said: "Rory wanted Michael to stand down which was rather surprising. And if there's something which I think deserves challenging. then I won't resile from that, and I don't think he would expect me too either".

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