Matt Hancock considering pulling out of Tory leadership race

Regional MP Matt Hancock has withdrawn from the Tory leadership race.

He told the Press Association: "Remember, I had six declared votes and I have more than tripled that, so I'm really really happy and candidates who started that contest with four times the number of declared votes as me are now nearly level pegging with me".

In an interview with Sky News, Stewart was asked to respond to suggestions that Johnson, the former foreign secretary, would go ahead with such a drastic course of action to resolve Brexit.

"I think in the past when you've had loads of candidates it can be slightly cacophonous", he said.

Those campaigning against Mr Johnson warned his strategy of avoiding media scrutiny could land the Tories with the same sort of leadership coronation that delivered victory for Theresa May without her being stress-tested under the spotlight.

"I ran as the candidate of the future, but the party is understandably looking for a candidate for the unique circumstances we face right now".

"It is clear that if we are going to give the Conservative party a choice, and someone who can offer something different to Boris, then I am that person".

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, who received 27 votes, said: "I'm proud and honoured to have the support of so many brilliant colleagues today".

The Leave campaign leader in the 2016 Brexit referendum secured the support of 114 MPs in the first ballot, far more than the combined total of his two closest challengers.

USA employers add just 75000 jobs as unemployment stays 3
In terms of economic data, hiring in the States slowed down sharply in May after a 224,000 gain during the previous month. Just three months earlier, wages had been rising at their fastest rate in a decade but gains have moderated since.

Further ballots are scheduled to take place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to whittle down the contenders until only two are left.

They said: "The next Conservative Leader, and Prime Minister, will have the crucial task of uniting Britain behind a new vision - not only to deliver Brexit, but to define what comes next". The flamboyant former London mayor is admired by many Conservatives for his ability to energize voters, but is also widely mistrusted for his record of misleading statements, verbal blunders and haphazard performance in high office.

Johnson vowed Wednesday that as prime minister he would "get Brexit done", either by renegotiating May's rejected Brexit deal or by leaving the European Union on October 31 without an agreement.

Opponents of "no-deal" say it would cause economic chaos as Britain breaks up with its top trading partners.

Javid also revealed he "didn't know" why Donald Trump wasn't invited to the state banquet, and said he did find it "odd" that he wasn't invited while other Cabinet ministers were, including fellow leadership candidate Michael Gove.

He agreed to take part in a televised debate on Tuesday but not one on Sunday. Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, came second with 43 votes in a field of almost a dozen hopefuls.

In Thursday's vote, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt came second behind Johnson with 43 votes, while environment secretary Michael Gove was third on 37.

The Tory leadership race is now down to six candidates after Matt Hancock pulled out.

Johnson will inherit the same fragile majority that ultimately led to the demise of Theresa May if he took up the position, and with the 31st October deadline already looming he may be stuck for options over how to end the current impasse.

  • Sonia Alvarado