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Tory leadership contest: Boris Johnson tops first ballot

The ten contenders in the Conservative race Image copyright AFP

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.


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