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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Sajid Javid Eliminated From Conservative Leadership Contest As Eight MPs Make It Onto Ballot

3 min read

Veteran Cabinet minister Sajid Javid has been eliminated from the race to replace Boris Johnson as Tory party leader and Prime Minister after failing to secure the support of 20 Conservative MPs.

Hopefuls needed to secure the support of 20 Tory MPs by 6pm in order to make it on the ballot.

Javid announced his withdrawal minutes before the result was announced.

"There is an abundance of both ideas and talent in our party. I look forward to seeing the debate unfold and to see colleagues working together as a united Conservative Party once the leadership election is concluded," he said in a statement.

He warned that the party "must look outwards, not inwards" if it is to win the next general election.

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who launched his leadership campaign this morning, made it onto the ballot with the most nominations from Conservative MPs.

He is joined by Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair Tom Tugendhat and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

Wildcard candidate Kemi Badenoch also secured the backing of 20 Tory MPs, as did former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, and Attorney General Suella Braverman

Rehman Chishti, a little-known Tory MP launched an ambitious bid for 10 Downing Street, was also eliminated after securing no nominations.

The eight candidates who made it onto the ballot are:

  • Kemi Badenoch
  • Suella Braverman
  • Jeremy Hunt
  • Penny Mordaunt
  • Rishi Sunak
  • Liz Truss
  • Tom Tugendhat
  • Nadhim Zahawi

Conservative MPs will vote for their preferred candidate in rounds, with the first taking place tomorrow. Candidates will need to secure the backing of at least 30 Tory MPs tomorrow in order to make it into the next round, with a higher threshold introduced in later in the contest.

Home Secretary Priti Patel had been mulling a late leadership bid but confirmed today that she had decided against it. She is yet to confirm who she will endorse in the race.

"I am grateful for the encouragement and support colleagues and Party members have offered me in recent days in suggesting that I enter the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party. I will not be putting my name forward for the ballot of MPs," she said in a statement.

"As a lifelong and committed Conservative, I will always make the case for freedom, enterprise and opportunity and work with colleagues to deliver these values in Government.

"Like all Conservative MPs and Party members, I will be listening to cases being put forward by the candidates standing for the leadership of the Party and trust the contest will be conducted in a good spirit that brings our Party together."

Sunak this morning pitched himself as the candidate who was being straight with the public about the state of the economy, insisting that he would be a tax-cutting Prime Minister once he has "gripped" inflation.

He described Boris Johnson, who announced he would resign last week, as "one of the most remarkable people I have ever met," in remarks interpreted as an olive branch to Conservative MPs who remain steadfastly loyal to the outgoing Prime Minister.

Sunak was boosted by the support of senior Conservatives Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who dropped out of the leadership contest to give his backing to the ex-Chancellor. 

Raab said Sunak was the only candidate who could defeat Keir Starmer's Labour at the next general election.

Tugendhat, who has the backing of numerous moderate Conservative MPs, this morning dismissed suggestions that he lacks experience to enter 10 Downing Street.

"The reality is that the job of prime minister is unlike every other job in government,” the MP for Tonbridge and Mallinge said.

“It's not a management job, it's not a departmental job. It's a job that demands vision and leadership, it demands a willingness to serve and to throw everything in the duty of serving the British people."

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