Tory leadership

Sajid Javid throws his hat in leadership race as Gove 'saddened' over election result

Secretary Michael Gove is pledging to leave the EU before the next general election.

AS THE BRUTAL blow of the European election results hit the Tories today, British interior minister Sajid Javid became the ninth candidate to enter the race to replace Theresa May as the party leader, promising to “deliver Brexit” after repeated delays.

Referring to the drubbing May’s Conservatives received in European Parliament elections, Javid said the new party leader had to restore voters’ trust.

“As last night’s results made all too clear, we must get on and deliver Brexit to make sure there is renewed trust in our democracy,” Javid said in a message posted on Twitter.

“We must bridge divides to heal communities, reminding us of our shared values as a United Kingdom,” said Javid, whose father emigrated from Pakistan and worked as a bus driver.

Javid did not join several other leadership hopefuls in saying that he would pull Britain out of the EU with or without a deal when the new deadline arrives on 31 October.

Conservative Party leadership frontrunners, including former foreign minister Boris Johnson, have said they were ready for a so-called “no-deal Brexit”.

Other candidates in the race include Andrea Leadsom, who ran for Tory leader last time; and Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Gove, a close ally of Theresa May, reacted to the Tory Party’s dismal election result today, saying he was saddened by the result.

“One message is clear from these results – we absolutely must deliver Brexit,” he said, adding that he’s ready to unite his divided party and pledging to leave the EU before the next general election.

Nigel Farage’s success reflected Conservative voters’ anger at May’s failure to leave the EU by 29 March, with her deal with Brussels getting rejected by parliament three times in the first three months of the year.

The Conservatives picked up just 9% of the vote, their worst election result since 1832. Farage’s new Brexit Party won almost 32%, and is now demanding a seat at the negotiating table with Brussels.

Javid, 49, became the first candidate to declare his candidacy over social media.

He is viewed as a relative long-shot in a field that is expected to grow further in the days to come – some rumours are circulating that Sir Graham Brady is expected to enter the Tory leadership race in the next few days.

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