Johnson tops first Tory leadership poll

The ten contenders in the Conservative raceImage copyright

Boris Johnson has secured the highest number of votes in the first ballot to select the Conservative party leader and next prime minister.

Three contenders – Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey – have been knocked out, in the secret ballot held in the House of Commons.

Mr Johnson received 114 votes, Jeremy Hunt was second with 43, and Michael Gove third with 37 votes.

Seven candidates progress to the next round of voting next week.

The two most popular MPs will be put to Tory party members in a final vote later this month.

The winner of the contest to succeed Theresa May is expected to be announced in the week of 22 July.

Mr Johnson said he was “delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go”.

Dominic Raab was fourth with 27 votes, Sajid Javid was fifth with 23, Matt Hancock sixth with 20 and Rory Stewart was the last candidate to get through to the next round with 19.

Mrs Leadsom received 11 votes, Mr Harper 10 votes and Ms McVey nine, meaning that they exit the contest.

Mr Stewart told Politics Live he was “completely over the moon” to have got through the first vote.

He said he only had six declared votes ahead of the poll, but “more than three times that” voted for him in the secret ballot.

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