Stewart 'in talks' with Gove about combining forces in leadership race

19 Juin, 2019, 17:07 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Boris Johnson Wins the Second Tory Leadership Vote

Michael Gove was in third place on 41 votes, while Rory Stewart was on 37.

Mr Stewart told the BBC: "We are talking about combining forces because it's clear that Boris is going into the last round".

He told the BBC's Newsnight programme: "I thought maybe if I took my tie off we could get back to a bit of reality, I was beginning to feel on those unusual BBC white barstools that we were moving off into an alternate reality".

But there was another overwhelming victory for Mr Johnson, who secured 126 votes - 80 ahead of his nearest rival Jeremy Hunt on 46.

The worldwide development secretary said that he and the environment secretary were talking about combining forces "because it's clear that Boris is going into the last round".

Mr Gove and Mr Hunt said extra time might be needed.

Despite only just gaining the minimum number of votes yesterday to stay on the ballot paper, Home Secretary Mr Javid has said he is not planning to stand down from the leadership contest.

The Foreign Secretary said he was "not entirely sure" what the front-runner in the race to become the next prime minister believes when it comes to when Britain will leave the EU.

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Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart said that he removed his tie during Tuesday night's debate to try and "get back to a bit of reality" as he conceded that he had struggled with the format.

It means Mr Johnson faces a tough examination in his first live televised debate this evening when he faces four MPs who have criticised his Brexit policy and his reluctance to take questions or campaign in public.

It is unlikely to have swayed many MPs' minds, ending with no clear victor.

As the candidate who now has the fewest number of backers, there are rumours Javid could drop out.

"He fought tonight, I thought he gave - in a hard format - he gave a good display of what he can offer the country".

Dominic Raab was the last candidate to be eliminated from the leadership process.

The following morning Mr Stewart gave a more simpler reason for removing his tie.

He came under fire for his tax plans, and was also taken to task over his comments comparing veiled Muslim women to "letterboxes" and "bank robbers".

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