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Tory leadership latest: Truss boosted by Badenoch elimination as Sunak retains lead

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Watch: Boris Johnson’s government wins confidence with 349 votes

Supporters of Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss are hopeful that the third-place contender will be given a boost by the elimination of Kemi Badenoch ahead of the final round of voting by MPs.

“I would have thought most of the people attracted to Kemi would not be attracted to Penny,” said Steve Baker. “So I’m hopeful that Liz will be able to attract their support. But one must never take anything for granted.”

Rishi Sunak retained a lead over his fellow candidates in Tuesday’s ballot with 118 votes, while Ms Truss inched closer to drawing level with Penny Mordaunt – with the pair receiving 86 and 92 votes respectively.

It comes after a members’ poll found that the former chancellor could be beaten by all three of his rivals in the final vote by Tory Party members.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has stripped the Tory party whip from senior MP Tobias Ellwood for his “failure to support” the government in Monday’s confidence vote.

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Tory leadership race: Kemi Badenoch eliminated as field narrows to final three

Tory leadership race: Kemi Badenoch eliminated as field narrows to final three

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Truss backers hopeful she will pick up eliminated Badenoch votes

Prominent Truss supporter Steve Baker said he was hopeful that the foreign secretary will pick up significant numbers of former Badenoch supporters in the final round of voting by MPs on Wednesday.

“I would have thought most of the people attracted to Kemi would not be attracted to Penny,” said Mr Baker.

“So I’m hopeful that Liz will be able to attract their support. But one must never take anything for granted.”

In an indication that the Truss camp is now aiming to woo Badenoch supporters, Mr Baker hailed the 42-year-old as an “extremely talented” MP who had performed well in the contest.

A senior Sunak backer denied the former chancellor was “lending” votes to rivals in the hope of ensuring he faces his favoured opponent in the final ballot.

“It’s entirely possible that individual MPs have chosen to vote tactically, but we are encouraging every colleague who supports Rishi to vote for him,” said the MP.

He said today’s result was positive for Mr Sunak: “We continue to move in the right direction and put on support. We are very content with that.

“There is now a significant number of votes in play. Obviously we will be making all the arguments to them about why Rishi is the right candidate. That is about electability, and the fact that polls show voters see Rishi as the person who can win a general election. And it’s about who can be prime minister – I think it is clear he is the person that is utterly across the detail not only on the economy but other issues.”

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Badenoch brought ‘courage and substance’ to leadership contest, says Tugendhat

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Sunak would rather face Mordant than Truss, says backer

Rishi Sunak backer Chris Skidmore suggested Liz Truss is the candidate his camp fears mos when the final two candidates go before members.

The Tory MP told Sky News: “Rishi versus Liz is going to be the most feared contest, in terms of that will be a battle for ideas rather than a battle of personalities.”

Asked if he would find it easier to go up against Ms Mordaunt, Mr Skidmore said: “It’s a question of competence and experience, and Rishi has those.”Lee Anderson MP, a Badenoch backer, claimed she would be prime minister within 10 years.

He did not say who he and other Badenoch supporters would now back.

“We’ve got to have that conversation between ourselves,” he told Sky News.

Senior MP Andrea Leadsom, a key Mordaunt backer, said she was still “incredibly optimistic” of making it into the final two.

She did not accept that most Badenoch backers were now more likely to switch to Truss than Mordaunt. “It’s simply not true that all MPs vote as a block.”

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Tory leadership vote: The fourth round results in full

Conservative MPs have voted in the fourth round of their leadership contest, eliminating right-winger Kemi Badenoch from the race.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak topped the ballot again with the backing of 118 MPs, while Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt beat Liz Truss for second place with 92 votes to 86.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has more:

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Kemi Badenoch eliminated from Tory leadership contest in fourth ballot of MPs

Former minister Kemi Badenoch has been eliminated from the Tory leadership race, leaving Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss vying for a place in the final two.

Announcing the results of the fourth ballot, the chairman of the Conservatives’ 1922 said Mr Sunak, the former chancellor, had secured the most votes among MPs with 118 backers.

Ashley Cowburn has this breaking story:

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Leadership contest vote counting underway

Votes are being counted to decide the next Tory leadership candidate to be eliminated from the race.

The contest has become a three-way battle to face Rishi Sunak in the run-off to be the next prime minister.

With the former chancellor comfortably ahead in the Tory leadership contest, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss and Kemi Badenoch remain in the hunt for the second place on the ballot that will go to Conservative Party members over the summer.

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Tory members demand option of voting for Boris Johnson to carry on as PM

A group of almost 2,000 Conservative members have written to party chairman to demand they are given the option of voting for Boris Johnson in the leadership ballot.

The first stage of the Tory leadership contest is nearing its conclusion, with Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt vying to become the final two candidates making their case to members, who will elect the next PM.

However, more than 1,800 members loyal to the outgoing PM are said to have added their signature to a petition asking party officials to add Mr Johnson’s names as a “third option”.

Adam Forrest has the details:

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BBC to host leadership debate with final two candidates

The BBC has announced it will host a live head-to-head between the final two candidates hoping to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

Our Next Prime Minister, presented by Sophie Raworth, will be aired on BBC One at 9pm on Monday.

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Government ‘not functioning’ and can’t provide basic services, admits Michael Gove

Senior Tory Michael Gove has admitted the government is “simply not functioning” when it comes to providing the public with basic services.

The former cabinet minister – fired by Boris Johnson amid the chaos of the prime minister’s resignation – pointed to problems issuing passports and driving licences, as well as wider failures on spending.

“I believe that there are certain essential functions that the state needs to do better, and we fail to deliver on them,” he told the Policy Exchange think tank on Tuesday.

Mr Gove said: “There are some core functions – giving you your passport, giving your driving licences – which are simply, at the moment, not functioning.”

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