Gavin Williamson: Boris is not in hiding in leadership contest

Clay Curtis
June 15, 2019

But he said he would take part in a BBC debate on Tuesday evening, once the field of candidates has been reduced by a second round of voting.

While Parliament has indicated it will try to stop a no-deal Brexit, which experts warn would hurt financial markets and the world economy, some of those running say it may be the only way for Britain to leave the bloc without further delay.

If there were only three candidates left by next Tuesday's vote, one would be eliminated and the contest could proceed to the next stage of voting by the party membership the same day, instead of next Thursday as now scheduled. Stewart received a boost, before Tory MPs cast their votes, when Conservative Home - the Tory grassroots website - revealed that he was now members' second favorite for the top job.

"I'm hugely grateful for the warm and enthusiastic support I've received throughout this campaign, and am proud of the way we managed to set the agenda by promoting new ideas to make people's lives better", he said.

"Unless we show fortitude and determination, I don't think we will carry conviction in Brussels about the deal we want to do".

Interior Minister Sajid Javid came fifth with 23 votes.

For his part, Matt Hancock was happy to have "more votes from colleagues than I could have hoped for".

Three candidates Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Mark Harper were eliminated as they failed to secure at least 17 votes.

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Mr Johnson, a former London mayor and foreign minister, has spent weeks wooing Conservative MPs, staying out of the spotlight with a low-key campaign at odds with his flamboyant publicity stunts of the past.

"I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go".

Further ballots are scheduled to take place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to whittle down the contenders until only two are left.

The leadership election has been triggered by May stepping down as leader of the Conservative party following intense criticism of her approach to Brexit, an issue that has dominated the campaigns of the candidates.

There had been speculation that the contest could be accelerated due to Mr Johnson's strong lead, but there was no immediate sign of rivals bowing out of the race.

When Jacob asked him who he would like to see leading the country, Nick explain he's looking for a leader beyond Brexit.

Seven contenders remain in the contest to succeed Theresa May as party leader and prime minister, including Jeremy Hunt, the foreign affairs minister, and Environment Minister Michael Gove, and former Brexit minister Dominic Raab. "We've got to be out by 31 October", Johnson told BBC radio on Friday.

Speaking to The Sun, the unnamed Boris-backer said that Mr Johnson may "have to" delay Brexit by a few weeks, after the leading candidate had said that the United Kingdom must leave the European Union by the October 31st deadline.

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