The 1922 Committee announced that Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock, Mark Harper, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Andea Leadsom, Esther McVey, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart will all take part having received enough backing from within the party. Remained Sam Gyimah pulled out moments before the announcement, citing his reason for doing so as joining the running too late to be able to gather enough support. A statement on his Twitter page read that “having entered the race at such a late stage, there simply has not been enough time to build sufficient support”.
Tory leadership race
He was mocked by an unnamed minister who said: “Backing Sam means accepting a second referendum – something worse than admitting to cocaine use in this Tory Party.”
At 5pm today, entries info the race were officially closed.
In a day of political drama surrounding who will take over embattled Theresa May’s role as Prime Minister, the front-runners all took centre stage to pledge their promises.
Michael Gove, Esther McVey, Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt all gave impassioned speeches today, with the controversy surrounding the Environment Secretary’s cocaine admission being a hot topic.
But Mr Gove deterred the attention and used his speech to take several swipes at Boris Johnson, with one referring to his 2016 leadership battle that today saw Mr Gove urge the blonde contender to “not pull out”.
Tory leadership election timetable
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is also trying to present himself as the best candidate to deliver Brexit and couldn’t resist a swipe at Mr Johnson’s negotiating style.
Describing himself as the “Brexiteer you can trust” he said the Tories could not deliver Britain’s departure from the EU through “bluff and bluster”.
He told his campaign launch: “This isn’t the moment for foghorn diplomacy. This is the moment for cold, steely determination.”
Mr Gove, whose campaign plans have been derailed by the cocaine furore, has attempted to persuade Tory MPs that he can be the “serious leader” the country needs.
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Michael Gove has fallen from second-favourite spot after his cocaine admission
6pm update: Entries announced
The 1922 Committee have anounced the following MPs have made it through to the ballot: Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock, Mark Harper, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Andea Leadsom, Esther McVey, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart.
5.48pm update: Minister mocks Sam Gyimah’s swift leadership exit – ‘worse than admitting to cocaine’
A Tory minister has mocked MP Sam Gyimah’s swift leadership exit statement, adding supporting him is “worse than admitting to cocaine use”.
The Times reported an unknown minister quipped: “Backing Sam means accepting a second referendum – something worse than admitting to cocaine use in this Tory Party.”
The minister was making a tongue-in-cheek reference to fellow contender Michael Gove’s admission to using the drug 20 years ago, a hot topic at his speech today.
Mr Gyimah said he had joined the race to be the next PM too late.
5.30pm update: Sam Gyimah pulls out of Tory leadership race
Sam Gyimah has pulled out of the Tory leadership race, citing joining too late as the reason why.
In a statement on his Twitter page, he said “having entered the race at such a late stage, there simply has not been enough time to build sufficient support”.
He wished his contenders “the very best at this challenging time” before signing the letter off.
4.50pm update: Theresa May wades into Tory drug row
Prime Minister Theresa may has been dragged into the Tory leadership race drug row, by being forced to confirm she has never taken any illegal substances.
Mrs May’s official spokesman confirmed “Theresa May has never taken any illegal drugs”.
Sam Gyimah has pulled out of the Tory leadership race
4pm update: Gove accuses media of ‘misreporting’ cocaine scandal
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.”
3.36pm update: Gove admits to being “willing to delay” Brexit
Michael Gove said he was “willing to delay Brexit for a day or a week” to get a deal with the EU through Parliament.
In another swipe at Boris Johnson he said a no deal Brexit would see Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street.
3.35pm update: Gove accused of “double standards”
Michael Gove was accused of having “double standards” by sorting cocaine in his past while today pledging to hep the poor.
A reporter said the person who may well have told him the cocaine could have been someone who took to drugs due to poverty.
Mr Gove said he has “reflected on his mistakes”.
3.26pm update: Gove launches attack on Boris Johnson in leadership speech
Michael Gove launched an attack on fellow Brexiteer Boris Johnson in his Tory leadership speech.
The Environment Secretary said “the poor must come first” and that he will not “give the already wealthy another tax cut”.
This is a reference to Mr Johnson’s pledge to help those earning up to £80,000.
He also copied fellow Tory Jeremy hunt’s dig at Mr Johnson, saying the party needs a “strong leader”.
3.10pm update: Gove talks of childhood in care in speech
Michael Gove told of his childhood in care during an impassioned speech – 48 hours after he revealed he took cocaine in a move that could impact his position in the Tory leadership race.
He revealed his birth name as “Graeme Logan” and how he spent a chunk of his early life in care before being fostered.
He also revealed what his foster mother once told him.
Mr Gove said: “‘Son’, she said, ‘you didn’t grow under my heart, you grow in it’.”
His speech comes after he admitted to taking cocaine 20 years ago while working as a journalist for The Times.
3.01pm update: Gove positions himself as “serious” alternative to Johnson
Michael Gove has launched his Tory leadership campaign but is struggling to keep up with the frontrunners after his admission of cocaine use led to calls to withdraw from the contest.
The Environment Secretary has attempted to present himself as a “serious” alternative to bookies favourite Boris Johnson and insists he is “undaunted” by criticism.
Mr Gove, whose campaign plans have been derailed by the cocaine furore, hopes to persuade Tory MPs that he can be the “serious leader” the country needs.
The minister, who endured a bruising interview on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show where he was repeatedly questioned about his cocaine use 20 years ago, said his willingness to stand up to scrutiny was a key strength.
He said: “I have led from the front undaunted by criticism and resolute in the need to solve complex issues because that is what our country needs.
“We need a leader who is ready to lead from day one. A leader ready to be prime minister from day one.
A leader ready to face the scrutiny of the studio lights.”
Mr Gove said he could deliver Brexit and “stop Jeremy Corbyn ever getting the keys to Downing Street”.
Michael Gove has launched his Tory leadership campaign
2.20pm update: Gove “unbackable” after cocaine revelations
Michael Gove’s cocaine admissions have rendered him “unbackable” in the Tory leadership race, according to online bookie Betway.
The Environment Secretary was a well-fancied second favourite at 4/1 before the weekend’s revelations but his odds have now reached an all-time high of 20/1.
Jeremy Hunt is the biggest mover as a result, coming in from 7/1 to 7/2 over the weekend.
Frontrunner Boris Johnson, despite having main rival Gove seemingly dislodged from the competition, has weakened in the last 48 hours to 4/7 from 4/11, while Andrea Leadsom is on the move and is now 15/2 from 9/1.
Betway spokesman Alan Alger said: “Michael Gove was simply unbackable as the 4/1 second favourite following his recent admittance to taking cocaine.
“We pushed him out to 6/1, then 11/1 and he’s now as big as 20/1 to be the next Tory Leader.
“When you consider that Gove, seemingly the biggest challenger to Boris Johnson, has drifted so markedly in the betting, you’d expect everyone to switch to backing Johnson.
“However, it seems as though punters want to get Boris beat and we’re taking a lot of bets on the likes of Jeremy Hunt and Andrea Leadsom.”
1.42pm update: Stewart secures backing for nomination
Rory Stewart has told the World at One he has secured the eight nominations needed to ensure he will be on the ballot for the first round of voting by Tory MPs on Thursday.
12.30pm McVey in bitter attack on May government
Esther McVey has launched her campaign with a withering attack on Theresa May’s administration.
She bitterly criticised a “very weak Government, a remain cabinet” and accused Mrs May of “begging for scraps” from the EU’s table before going “begging to Labour”.
Ms McVey said Britain became “damned if we did and damned if we didn’t vote for that withdrawal agreement”.
She said: “One of my concerns was that Brexit would actually be completely lost if we didn’t go for her deal.”
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.
“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.”
“Our public sector workers have stuck by us and worked hard to help clear up the economic mess that was left by Labour and that we inherited. That’s why, under my leadership, the Conservative Party will offer four million public sector workers a pay rise.”
She said the Tories had “turned the economy round” and it was time to “thank those people who helped us get the economy back on track”.
Standing in front of a picture of Margaret Thatcher, she said: “Of course we will help people around the world who need it, but now we need help here too.”
Finishing her launch with an impassioned speech she said: “Unite the country. Make sure we stand up for democracy too – the biggest ever democratic vote to get us out of the EU so that we can be a strong, sovereign nation who can proudly be on that global stage.”
The event was disrupted by a protestor who ran up to the lectern, grabbed the microphone and accused Ms McVey of “not being a real Tory”.
12.10pm update: Jeremy Hunt offers “tough negotiation over empty threats”
Jeremy Hunt has launched his leadership campaign telling supporters he has been negotiating his whole life.
He said: “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 unions.
“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. 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.
“Squeezed by the Brexit party on the right and the Lib Dems on the left we simply allow Labour through the middle.
“And if that happened nationally it would be the end of Brexit. Because whatever else a Labour government did – and I worry about all of it – it would never deliver Brexit.
“So we need to get real. We are facing a constitutional crisis.
“Our new prime minister will still preside over a hung parliament.
“This extremely serious moment calls for an experienced, serious leader.
“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.”
Tory leadership contest timetable
11.29am update: Regional press join forces with ominous warning to Tory hopefuls
Newspapers in Northern England have joined forces to issue a strong warning to Tory leadership hopefuls by demanding they stop treating the region as an “after-thought”.
Some 33 newspapers and websites are calling for devolution to “turbo-charge the North’s economy” as they urge the UK’s main political parties to “close the north-south divide”.
The publications, including the Yorkshire Post, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, the Northern Echo and Sheffield Star say health, social and economic inequalities have widened under Labour and Tory governments.
A joint editorial under the campaign “Power Up the North” reads calls for a “sea change in the way the country is run after decades of being treated as an after-thought, if at all”.
Dominic Raab launches his leadership bid
11.02am update: Raab launches election campaign as “Brexiteer to rely on”
Dominic Raab has formally launched his campaign to be the next Tory leader.
He told the audience he loved his country “with a passion” but said Britain had suffered a lose of nerve and had been “humiliated” in the Brexit talks.
He said the Conservatives wanted to move on from Brexit but said when he was Brexit Secretary he told EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his team things they did not want to hear.
And he told the audience if the UK had a united team it would already left the EU on acceptable terms.
Mr Raab said no government could deliver Brexit on “bluff and bluster” but vowed to take Britain out of the EU as the “Brexiteer you can rely on”.
He said he would return to Brussels and demand a Brexit based on the Malthouse compromise.
He said: “We won’t be taken seriously in Brussels unless we are clear that we will walk away on WTO terms if the EU refuses to budge.
“I’m the Brexiteer that you can rely on. I don’t want a WTO departure – I want a deal.
“If we were forced by EU stubbornness to leave on WTO terms we can draw from the £39bn budgeted for the Brexit deal to help businesses through what is undoubtedly a transition.”
Amber Rudd is backing Jeremy Hunt
10.57am update: Bookies slash odds on Hunt for PM
Jeremy Hunt has seen his odds of becoming the leader of the Tory party slashed by Ladbrokes.
Amber Rudd’s endorsement of the Foreign Secretary has led to a flurry of bets on the Foreign Secretary which has seen his odds fall to 5/1.
Boris Johnson remains the odds-on favourite at 1/2 for the job, while Michael Gove’s price continues to drift following his cocaine admissions, leaving him chalked up as 20/1 outsider with the bookies now.
Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “Hunt is proving a popular bet with political punters at the moment and looks like the most serious threat to Johnson’s stranglehold on favouritism.”
10.39am update: Rudd warns Johnson leadership would spark early general election
Amber Rudd has warned picking Boris Johnson or another hard Brexiter as Theresa May’s replacement will lead to an early general election.
The work and pensions secretary, who is backing Jeremy Hunt for the Tory leadership, criticised Boris Johnson’s trenchant attitude towards leaving the EU on 31 October.
She said: “I’m afraid that’s not enough if you haven’t got a plan behind it.”
Ms Rudd warned promises by Mr Johnson, Dominic Raab and Esther McVey to leave without a deal if the EU refuses to renegotiate the UK’s departure deal, would be blocked by MPs and end up triggering an election.
Asked if a vote for a no-deal candidate was, in effect, a vote for an early election, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In my view it is.”
She said: “Members of parliament will find a way to stop no deal and I think that any aspiring leader needs to factor that in.
“I think there could be an election – parliament is a very creative place, and with the assistance of an activist Speaker there will be a way that MPs will find in order to have their voice heard.”
Matt Hancock handed out stroopwaffles in his goody bags
10.33am update: Hancock’s sweet treats could turn sour with Brexiteers
Matt Hancock’s team handed out branded goody bags at his campaign launch but eyebrows were immediately raised at the inclusion of a stroopwaffle.
The Dutch sweet treat – two thin biscuits sandwiching a layer of caramel – might by a nod post-Brexit relations with Europe but Tory Leavers are bound to bemoan the absence of a good old Chelsea bun, Eccles cake or Bakewell tart.
10.22am update: Hancock has support of Judge Rinder
Reality TV star Rob Rinder was in the audience for Matt Hancock’s Tory leadership campaign launch.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeted: “Matt Hancock also has Judge Rinder here to support him – tells me he’s not a member of Tory party so has no vote but is a ‘character reference’ for him.”
10.05am update: Hancock promises “fresh start”
Matt Hancock has promised the “fresh start the country needs” as his campaign to become the next Prime Minister gets under way.
The Health Secretary said the country needed “a leader not just for the next six weeks or six months, but the next six years and more” and pledged to make the next decade “the soaring twenties”.
Mr Hancock, a Currently a 100/1 outsider to take over from Theresa May as Tory leader, said his campaign will be about Britain’s future.
He said: “We can’t allow this sane, sensible country to enter a new age of nihilism and narrow nationalism.
“So, I refuse to be the leader offering simplistic or populist solutions to such profound change. Instead, an emotionally-charged platform to improve lives, rooted in objective fact.
“Some people say these changes are too big and too inevitable for us to do anything about it. I say no. We are masters of our own destiny. We can win this fight.
“Ultimately, the success of liberal democracy and our way of life depends on it. We can and must work with this change, master it, bend it to our benefit.
“Not ‘move fast and break things’, that’s wrong. My mantra is ‘move fast and make things happen’.”
Jeremy Hunt has warned of ’empty rhetoric’
9.54am: Sturgeon describes Tory race as ‘horror show’
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has branded the Tory leadership contest a “horror show”.
She tweeted: “What a horror show the Tory leadership election is.
“Tax cuts for the richest, attacks on abortion rights hypocrisy on drugs, continued Brexit delusion.
“True colours well and truly on show.”
9am update: Hunt launches leadership campaign with ‘empty rhetoric’ warning
Jeremy Hunt will say the country needs a leader who offers more than “empty rhetoric” as the Tory leadership campaign formally starts.
In comments which will be viewed as a sideswipe at campaign frontrunner Boris Johnson, Mr Hunt will say an “experienced, serious leader” is needed to deal with the constitutional crisis caused by Brexit.
The Foreign Secretary will launch his campaign with endorsements from the worlds of sport and health – his two previous cabinet roles.
At an event for MPs and campaigners in London he will say: “We are facing a constitutional crisis. Our new Prime Minister will preside over a hung Parliament.
“This extremely serious moment calls for an experienced, serious leader. We need the art of tough negotiation, not the art of empty rhetoric.”