Michael Gove has moved into second place in the Conservative Party leadership contest after receiving 61 votes to Jeremy Hunt’s 59.
Savid Javid bowed out after he received just 34 votes, leaving three contenders to battle it out today ahead of a membership vote on the final two remaining candidates.
Talk of Rory Stewart combining forces with Gove spread yesterday, and the Environment Secretary may well have picked up a number of MPs as a result.
Talking on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire show, Stewart said: “It’s clear that Boris is going into the last round,” so the question is; “who is best placed to sit on a stage with Boris Johnson and who is best placed to ask the testing questions that need to be asked, and who has the vision of Britain that is going to excite people, get young people involved in politics, and show us who can build a much better country.”
Gove and Boris Johnson, who received 157 votes in the latest ballot, famously came to blows in 2016 after he stood against him for the Conservative leadership rather than backing him as he said he would.
The former justice secretary has since said the rival bid for Tory leadership was ‘not treachery’, but that he came to the realisation that Johnson was not the best person to be Prime Minister.