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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

Michael Gove enters the race to become Tory party leader

Gove joins an already crowded race to become Tory leader.

Michael Gove
Michael Gove
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

MICHAEL GOVE HAS become the latest MP to enter the race to become Conservative party leader and succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister. 

The UK Environment Secretary joins an already crowded pack of Tories aiming to become the next leader of the country.

Yesterday, former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Health Secretary Matt Hancock joined the long list of contenders. 

Gove, Leadsom, Raab and Hancock join front runner Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Rory Stewart and Esther McVey who are all vying for the leadership. 

Meanwhile, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has ruled herself out of the leadership contest.

May announced this week that she would stand down as Conservative leader on 7 June. 

The contest is being held against the backdrop of European Parliament elections that the new Brexit Party of the anti-EU populist Nigel Farage is expected to win with about a third of the vote.

Polls show the Conservatives getting punished for their bickering over Brexit and finishing as low as fifth – their worst result in a national election.

The contenders are also mindful of a party revolt over May’s fateful decision to court the pro-EU opposition with the promise of a second Brexit referendum.

The concession was designed to help ram her withdrawal agreement through parliament on the fourth attempt.

But it won her no converts and sparked a party coup attempt that forced May to walk away before she was pushed out.

Parliamentary party members will begin whittling down the field of Tory party contenders to a final two on 10 June. 

The finalists will go up for a vote in a ballot held across Britain by around 100,000 party members (who have three months’ standing) in July.

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