Published: Sat, June 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Matt Hancock withdraws from Tory leadership race

Matt Hancock withdraws from Tory leadership race

Johnson said he did not want a no-deal Brexit but he ruled out a further extension beyond the current October 31 deadline.

Mr Johnson was the clear victor in the first ballot with 114 votes - 71 votes ahead of his nearest rival, Jeremy Hunt.

"We can only have that debate if our frontrunner in this campaign is a little bit braver in terms of getting out into the media, engaging in debates", Hunt told the BBC.

"I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go", Mr Johnson said on Twitter. But Johnson's dominant performance means that the favourite is now certain to be one of the two contenders who make it through to the final run-off stage in the contest, if he can avoid a major mishap.

Johnson said his Conservatives and the main opposition Labour faced an "existential threat" from populist Nigel Farage's Brexit Party and the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.

Boris Johnson overwhelmingly won the first round of voting Thursday in the race to replace outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, with the field of candidates narrowed to seven from 10.

Health minister Matt Hancock quit the contest on Friday, leaving Johnson with five rivals.

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"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", he said in a statement".

The final pair will then be put to a vote of members of the wider Conservative Party from 22 June, with the victor expected to be announced about four weeks later. "I will now look for the best way to advance the values we fought for".

Mr Johnson, a former London mayor and foreign minister, has spent weeks wooing Conservative MPs, staying out of the spotlight with a low-key campaign at odds with his flamboyant publicity stunts of the past.

Mr Raab, who needs to add to his first round tally of 27 votes if he is to continue after the second round, also contrasted his background as a grammar school boy and the son of a refugee with ex-public school rivals like the Old Etonian Mr Johnson.

"So I've made a decision to withdraw from this race and find other ways to advance the values I hold so strongly - the need for the Conservative Party to be pro-business, pro-enterprise, open, outward looking, gregarious and engage supporting every individual to make the best that they can in life. I would resign after 36 years".

"This is where we're at and we're waiting on the nomination of a new prime minister in London and what it will tell us, that's what matters", Barnier told European and African senators meeting in Paris, including the speaker of Britain's House of Lords, Norman Fowler.

Rory Stewart, one of the remaining candidates, tweeted: "Please write to your MP if you think this is not a good idea and please RT (retweet) if you think anyone else might think this is not a good idea...."

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