Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Kit Malthouse second MP to pull out of leadership race

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionCleverly Tory MPs Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionCleverly Tory MPs"not ready to make leap of faith
Patty Aguilar | 07 June, 2019, 13:56

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, his successor Jeremy Hunt, former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and environment minister Michael Gove are among the frontrunners in the contest.

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

In a statement posted on Twitter, Malthouse said: "I have made a decision to withdraw from the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party". The question now is which - if any - of her successors has the global statesmanship that this country has always come to expect of its prime ministers. "There is a very real choice between getting Brexit done and the potential extinction of this great party", he added.

That would hasten an end to the uncertainty triggered by May's resignation over her failure to deliver Brexit nearly three years after a referendum vote in favour of the move. "I think that the idea that we would somehow revert to a pre referendum reality is for the birds", he said. "That's how we get Brexit done, defeat Corbyn and unify the country", he said.

"No more unicorns, no more red lines, no more promises we can't deliver".

"Our new prime minister will have three months to get this right, or that's it - for this government, this parliament and this party".

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In modern times, this has typically been the MP who leads the party with the largest number of seats in the House of Commons, although the role has in the past fallen to members of the House of Lords and MPs who were able to form a majority through a party coalition or with factional support across parties.

The party's influential 1922 Committee, which represents Conservative lawmakers, said it had agreed that those wanting the job would need the support of eight lawmakers to enter - a higher threshold than in previous contests. As such, it is astonishing that some candidates even countenance proroguing Parliament, thereby suspending proceedings and scrutiny, until October 31, the new default date for Brexit, to thwart Remain-supporting MPs.

Junior Brexit minister James Cleverly stepped down earlier on Tuesday, acknowledging it had become clear it was "highly unlikely" he would be one of the final two candidates.

The first ballot of MPs will take place on June 13, with further votes scheduled on June 18, 19 and 20.

"Balloting will continue until two candidates remain".

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