Tory leadership race rules CHANGE after 12 candidates come forward for job

Tory leadership race rules CHANGE after 12 candidates come forward for job

A dozen hopefuls presently wish to try and succeed Theresa May however that figure will be radically reduced as Tory executives take control of the process. Tory MP Michael Fabricant has confirmed the 1922 Committee has agreed each candidate will need the support of 16 MPs in the first ballot and then 32 in the second to remain in the contest. The 313 Conservative MPs will continue to cast their vote and whittle down the Tory MPs until there is only two candidates remaining.

Over 124,000 Conservative party members will then vote on the final two.

Theresa May will quit as Tory leader on Friday June 7 and Conservative parliamentarians have until the week commencing June 10 to put their name in the ring.

The sudden change in rules comes amid growing criticism at the number of MPs who have put their name forward.

Some senior party figures, such as former finance minister Ken Clarke and housing minister James Brokenshire, have said there are too many candidates.

Meanwhile the field was today reduced from 13 to 12 candidates after Brexit minister James Cleverly withdrew from the contest.

The former deputy chair of the Conservative Party concluded he was “highly unlikely” to reach the final two.

Mr Cleverly stated he hoped Tory MPs would “take a leap of faith” and vote for a “relatively new MP” however that had not materialised.

The MP for Braintree said: “I felt that we needed to deliver Brexit and then quickly move the conversation on to other important issues that face the country.

“I had hoped that the Conservative parliamentary party would support me to be the face and voice of that conversation.

“To do this I asked them to make a leap of faith, skip a generation and vote for a relatively new MP.

“It is clear that, despite much support, particularly from our party’s grassroots, MPs weren’t comfortable with such a move and it has become clear that it is highly unlikely that I would progress to be one of the final two candidates.”

Meanwhile in joint press conference with Mrs May, US President Donald Trump has said he believes both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt would do a “very good job” as the next leader.

At the conclusion of an action-packed speech Mr Trump jokingly asked Mr Hunt, who was sitting in the front row, whether he thought Mr Gove would do a good job as leader.

Mr Trump said: “I know Boris. I like him. I have liked him for a long time. I think he would do a very good job. I know Jeremy, I think he would do a very good job.

“I don’t know Michael - would he do a good job, Jeremy?”

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