1922 committee confirms ten MPs will be on first Tory leadership ballot paper

The initial contenders in the Conservative leadership race (top row, left to right) former Foreign Secretary Boris...

The initial contenders in the Conservative leadership race (top row, left to right) former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and former Conservative chief whip Mark Harper, (bottom row, left to right) former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, former House of Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid. (Photograph: PA Wire). - Credit: PA

Ten Tory MPs will be on the first Tory leadership ballot paper, after People's Vote backer Sam Gyimah dropped out of the race.

The Conservative Party 1922 committee announced that Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Mark Harper, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey, Dominic Raab, and Rory Stewart will be on the first ballot paper.

The official 1922 committee hustings will be on Tuesday and on Wednesday with the first ballot will be held on Thursday morning.

Each candidate will require at least 17 votes - with the candidate with the lowest votes getting eliminated.

The committee said the result will be announced at around 1pm on Thurday.

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Gove insisted he was still in the race to "win it" despite calls for him to withdraw over his cocaine admission.

He said he had explained his regret at his past mistakes after the revelation over the weekend that he took the drug in the 1990s cast a shadow over his campaign launch on Monday afternoon.

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Meanwhile Jeremy Hunt's campaign was bolstered by the backing of two cabinet ministers - Remain supporter Amber Rudd and prominent Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt.

Hunt positioned himself as a "serious leader" and warned that the Tories would be "annihilated" if they fight a general election before delivering Brexit.

Hancock pledged to increase the national living wage to more than £10 an hour, and said he would reduce taxes on working people "when we can afford it".

Raab spelled out his desire to break from the EU by October 31 even without a deal if necessary, and called for a "generational change in leadership".

McVey promised public sector workers a pay rise and vowed to increase police spending and boost funding for education as she set out her vision for the country.

Other contenders - including Andrea Leadsom, Sajid Javid, Rory Stewart, Mark Harper and Boris Johnson - are expected to launch their campaigns later this week.

Sam Gyimah dropped out prior to the announcement, saying that he had ran out of time to garner enough support to make it on to the ballot.

"My purpose in campaigning for a solution to break the deadlock, and bringing new ideas to help my party win over modern Britain, will not change," he said in a statement.

"I wish all the contenders the very best at this challenging time as they make the case to take our country forward."

Best for Britain's Naomi Smith said: "It's sad to see the one reasonable candidate in this vile Tory leadership race have to drop out.

"With only Brexit advocates left in the race, it's more important than ever that remain parties work together.

"Our petition, calling for those politicians to work together in the national interest, just smashed through 50,000 signatures - showing strength of feeling across the country for politicians to put their differences aside to resolve this crisis."

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