Rory Stewart eliminated from the Tory leadership race - leaving ‘extreme Brexiteers’ to be prime minister

Former Conservative party leadership contender Rory Stewart. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Former Conservative party leadership contender Rory Stewart. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The results of the third ballot of Tory MPs for the next prime minister have been announced with Rory Stewart eliminated.

Remaining in the race is Michael Gove with 51 votes, Jeremy Hunt with 54 votes, Sajid Javid with 38 votes, Boris Johnson with 143 votes.

With just 27 votes Rory Stewart was eliminated, with the MP going backwards in the competition compared to yesterday's 37.

The MP tweeted: "I am so moved & inspired by the support I have received over the last few weeks - it has given me a new faith in politics, a new belief in our country. I didn't get enough MPs to believe today - but they will. I remain deeply committed to you and to this country."

It leaves just "extreme" Brexiteers in the race to be the next prime minister.

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Best for Britain's Naomi Smith said: "While Rory Stewart was in favour of achieving Brexit via parliament, he also at least contemplated turning to the people through a Citizen's Assembly.

"As such, among the remaining candidates, he represented the closest thing to a sensible voice on the most important issue facing our country for decades. The Conservative Party has now, conclusively, turned its back on all but the most extreme of Brexiters.

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"It must now be time for internationalist MPs in all parties to put their tribal differences aside and collaborate against no deal, and in favour of giving the people a final say on Brexit."

The fourth and fifth ballots will take place on Thursday and Friday.

From Saturday, Conservative Campaign Headquarters begin the membership hustings process for party members to decide between the final two candidates.

The party will aim for the hustings to take place in all 12 regions of the UK, with the result announced in the week commencing July 22.

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