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# UK Politics
Eight go forward into first round of voting in the Tory leadership race
Prominent Boris Johnson loyalists backed Liz Truss in move to prevent Rishi Sunak entering No 10.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 12th 2022, 6:35 PM

EIGHT CONTENDERS WILL be on the ballot paper when Tory MPs begin voting tomorrow to elect a successor to Boris Johnson, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, has announced.

Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat, Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi and Suella Braverman all secured the 20 nominations from fellow MPs needed to enter the contest.

Moments before the announcement in a Commons committee room, former health secretary Sajid Javid said he was pulling out having apparently failed to attract enough support.

Earlier Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that he was abandoning his bid and would be supporting Sunak, the former chancellor.

Backbencher Rehman Chishti – seen as the rank outsider – also said that he was dropping out having failed to get enough nominations.

Meanwhile Truss, the Foreign Secretary, gained the endorsement of prominent Boris Johnson loyalists Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nadine Dorries and James Cleverly, in what was seen as a concerted move to prevent Sunak entering No 10.

Many supporters of the Prime Minister remain furious with Sunak for the role he played in bringing him down, with his decision last week to quit helping to trigger a further slew of resignations. 

It comes just hours after Home Secretary Priti Patel ruled herself out of the Tory leadership race after spending days mulling over whether to stand.

politics-tories PA Images PA Images

Sources close to Patel would not disclose who she is likely to back as the next prime minister nor would they divulge the reasons behind her decision not to run.

She has been dogged by bullying allegations in the past, claims she denies, and there have been warnings against crowding out right-wing candidates.

She prompted outrage in 2018 when she suggested using the possibility of food shortages in Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit to encourage the EU to drop the backstop.

Her remarks were branded as insensitive in the context of the Irish famine, with then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urging Patel to rethink what she said.

Patel later said her comments were taken out of context.

Not being in the race will put her in an influential position in trying to drum up support for another hopeful, which would be one way to boost her chances of remaining in the Cabinet.

Dorries and Rees-Mogg, the Brexit opportunities minister, came out in support for Truss after attending the Cabinet meeting of caretaker Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Culture Secretary told reporters in Downing Street that Truss, who voted to remain in the 2016 referendum, is probably a “stronger Brexiteer than both of us”.

Tory right-winger Steve Baker warned a day earlier of a “grave danger of fragmentation” if Patel and others ran.

Confidence motion

Meanwhile, Labour is to force a confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s Government, challenging Tory MPs to oust the Prime Minister as they hold a leadership contest.

The opposition will table the motion today to hold the vote tomorrow, according to party sources.

Johnson resigned as Conservative leader after a long line of scandals but is clinging on to office until a replacement is found, a move that has divided Tory MPs.

Labour’s bid would force Johnson’s colleagues to either back the Government or vote against it, in a move that could trigger a general election.

The next prime minister is not expected to be announced until 5 September, after the Tory party set out its timetable for the battle to replace Johnson in No 10.

Labour leader Keir Starmer had previously threatened to bring the confidence vote to prevent “this nonsense about clinging on for a few months”.

“He’s inflicted lies, fraud and chaos in the country,” he said last week.

“If they don’t get rid of him then Labour will step up, in the national interest, and bring a vote of no confidence, because we can’t go on with this Prime Minister clinging on for months and months to come.”

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