Conservative leadership: 10 rivals face first ballot of Tory MPs

Jacob Rees-Moog

Jacob Rees-Moog

Johnson secured 114 votes in party balloting of 313 conservatives members of parliament.

Three were knocked out: former leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey.

Any candidate who fails to gain 5% of the vote in the first round will be out.

Johnson said that if parliament blocks Brexit completely, "we will reap the whirlwind and we will face mortal retribution from the electorate".

The elimination of Ms McVey and Mrs Leadsom means Mrs May will not be replaced by another female in Number 10.

The second round next week will have a threshold of 33 votes, anyone polling less than that will be eliminated.

The battle will now be on between the remaining seven candidates to scoop up the trio's 20 votes. A postal ballot of the wider Conservative Party membership will then be held to pick a leader. Jeremy Hunt finished second with 43, followed by Michael Gove with 37.

"We can't risk going with someone who feels like the short-term, comfort-zone choice", the interior minister said, recounting his story of growing up in Britain as the son of Pakistani immigrants.

"The stakes have rarely been higher for our country".

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There are calls for the four candidates at the bottom of the results table to drop out and speed up the process of selecting the next leader.

Michael Gove is "stuffed" because he has failed to make ground in the wake of his admission to taking cocaine, one of his own supporters has said.

He told the Press Association he was "absolutely over the moon" to have secured just enough votes to survive the first ballot.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who had 20 votes, tweeted: "Thanks so much for the fantastic support - terrific to have more votes from colleagues than I could have hoped for".

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart snuck through in seventh place with 19 votes after running an original social media campaign that endeared him to more liberal party members - and the British public at large.

"I'm the change candidate who can be trusted to deliver Brexit by October and has the vision and energy to take Britain forward, and beat Jeremy Corbyn".

Esther McVey, a former television presenter who came under fire on Wednesday for ill-informed comments about foreign aid, scored the lowest in the first round of ballots, securing the support of just nine MPs. He told MPs that he was "strongly not attracted to" the option at an event after the official launch of his campaign yesterday.

He said: "You build on that by saying, this message I am selling, about being fearless in the centre ground and getting out and listening to people, is extraordinarily popular".

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