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Rory Stewart eliminated from Conservative leadership contest as race begins to tighten

It comes following a third round of voting by conservative MPs today.

(L-R) Rory Stewart, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson
(L-R) Rory Stewart, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson
Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY Rory Stewart has been eliminated from the race to replace Theresa May following a third round of voting by Conservative MPs. 

Stewart received 27 votes, winning the least amount of votes from Conservative MPs, and was consequently knocked out.

Boris Johnson has grown his support among MPs taking 143 votes, up from the 126 he received in the second round of voting, and the 114 he received in the first round of voting. 

In today’s vote, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt received 54 votes, Environment Secretary Michael Gove received 51 votes, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid received 38 votes. 

All 313 Conservative MPs cast their vote for who they think should succeed Theresa May as leader of the party, and consequently take over the role of Prime Minister. 

Stewart, the only candidate who had ruled out a no-deal Brexit had doubled his support during the second round of voting when he won 37 votes, but seen a a drop in support to 27 votes today. 

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, who was eliminated in the second round yesterday had pledged his support to Boris Johnson. 

Candidates appeared on a live BBC debate show last night, in which they outlined their position on a number of issues, including Brexit, the Irish border and taxation. 

An Opinium research poll of 700 people, following the debate, put Johnson and Stewart in first and second place as the top performers. 

A similar poll following a previous debate on Channel 4 put Stewart in the top position based on performance. 

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In an interview with Sky News earlier today, Stewart had called on the other candidates – Hunt, Gove and Javid – to step aside to give him a firm chance in a run-off with Boris Johnson.

Another round of voting is planned for tomorrow.

The victor of the Conservative leadership contest will be announced next month with the winning candidate set to take over on July 22.

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