Penny Mordaunt refuses Boris Johnson’s request to drop out of contest, reports say – British Politics Live | Conservative management

Mordaunt denies Johnson’s request to drop contest – reports

As reported at 3:38 p.m., PA Media reports a line informed that Boris Johnson asked Penny Mordaunt to drop out of the leadership race and support him.

“Sources close to the leader of the House of Commons” told the news agency that Mordaunt refused, warning that most of his support would shift to Rishi Sunak if she did.

James Heappey, MP for Wells and Minister of State for the Armed Forces & Veterans, has posted on Twitter, announcing his support for Rishi Sunak. This brings Sunak total to 142.

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He says:

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I’ve been agonising all weekend knowing that our choice as next PM must bring together our divided party & restore stability to our Government. All wings of our party will need to work together after contest to achieve that but I’m supporting @RishiSunak to lead us in doing so.

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Boris & Liz have led world in responding to the war in Ukraine. We must continue to lead. But that international leadership is only possible if our domestic politics & economy are stable. Rishi can deliver that stability at home, so we can continue to lead support for Ukraine.

n
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Bloomberg reporter Alex Wickham and the Sun’s political editor Harry Cole have both tweeted a screenshot which they say is of a post showing MP Chris Heaton-Harris in the Johnson campaign WhatsApp group claiming they’ve “now verified 100 MP nominations” and “completed paperwork to get on the ballot”.

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It’s important to note that so far we have only seen 57 verified nominations, only a handful of which have emerged in the last 24 hours.

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Keir Starmer is facing growing pressure from the left of the Labour party to seek a more radically redistributive economic programme – as he warned that the current economic conditions will minimise the scope for action if his party wins the next general election.

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Corbyn-era shadow cabinet member Rebecca Long-Bailey has echoed the frustration of many on the left at what they view as an excessively cautious approach despite Labour’s huge poll leads suggesting they are in a position to win a large parliamentary majority.

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Writing in the Independent, she said Labour must be ready to take advantage of a “watershed” moment in British politics by offering a “transformative socialist programme for government”.

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Another cabinet minister has come out in support of Rishi Sunak, as culture secretary Michelle Donelan has said she supports his “unity, stability, delivery and relentless focus”.

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Donelan, who was education secretary for two days under Boris Johnson in July, said it was important for the party to “come together and unite”.

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Her backing means that according to the Guardian’s count, Sunak now has 140 MPs who have said publicly that they will vote for him.

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Here’s a round-up of today’s key developments in the final day before Conservative party MPs vote in the first ballot as part of the contest to elect their next leader.

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  • Rishi Sunak has announced his candidacy to be the next Tory leader. In a statement, posted on Twitter, he promised to “fix our economy, unite our country and deliver for our country”.

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  • A number of key declarations of support have been made. Suella Braverman, Grant Shapps and Chloe Smith have all said they will support Sunak in the vote on Monday.

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  • Former vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, who was briefly Johnson’s chancellor, said he will vote for him, as will foreign secretary James Cleverly.

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  • Johnson is still yet to announce his candidacy. Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris told Sky News that the former PM had the 100 MPs needed to get through the ballot on Monday.

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  • Talks were held between Sunak and Johnson that ended late on Saturday night without a deal.

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  • Similar discussions took place between Mordaunt and Johnson on Sunday afternoon, with the former prime minister reportedly asking Mordaunt to drop out of the contest – a request she refused.

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  • Mordaunt appeared on BBC One in an interview with Laura Kuenssberg, and declined to make any agreements on policy.

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  • New polling from Opinium that has been published in the last few minutes shows that the public prefer Rishi Sunak over Boris Johnson to be the next prime minister.

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  • Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC that the Tories were “staring over the brink of a precipice” with its current problems.

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  • Former European Research Group chair Steve Baker said Johnson’s return as prime minister would be “a guaranteed disaster” because of an upcoming vote on whether he lied to the House of Commons over Partygate.

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As reported at 3:38pm, PA Media is reporting a line briefed out that Boris Johnson asked Penny Mordaunt to drop out of the leadership race and to back him.

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“Sources close to the Leader of the House of Commons” told the news agency that Mordaunt refused, warning that most of her support would switch to Rishi Sunak if she did.

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A big declaration of support for Boris Johnson from foreign secretary James Cleverly, as he said he will vote for him if he stands in Monday’s vote.

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Cleverly, who was education secretary for a month under Johnson, and a minister previous to that, said that he thinks Johnson has “learned his lessons from his time” in Downing Street.

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“[He] will ensure the focus is on the needs of the country from day 1,” he said.

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Former home secretary Suella Braverman, who resigned on Wednesday, has said that she is supporting Rishi Sunak’s bid to become prime minister.

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Braverman, who served as attorney general under Boris Johnson, is a big figure on the right of the party and it was thought that she may have launched a leadership bid herself. Her support for Sunak will count as a big blow to Johnson’s campaign.

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Her resignation letter to Liz Truss on Wednesday criticised breaking manifesto pledges. She is an MP who has engaged most readily with “culture war issues” and said it would be her “dream” to see refugees deported to Rwanda.

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Writing in the Telegraph (paywall), she said Johnson is “one of our most significant prime ministers in history”.

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But she pivots to say:

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n

Things need to change. We, as a party, need to change. We need to provide leadership, stability and confidence to the British people. We cannot indulge in parochial or nativist fantasies. Yes, I want a leader of our Party and our country to inspire hope for a better future and raise our spirits. And I need a leader who will put our house in order and apply a steady, careful hand on the tiller. That person, for me, is Rishi Sunak.

n
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She ends by saying that Britain is in “dire straits” and Sunak is the candidate that “fits the bill.”

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I have backed Boris from the start. From running alongside him in London in 2012, to supporting him to be our leader in 2019 and willing him to succeed throughout the travails of this year. His resignation in July was a loss for our country.

n

But we are in dire straits now. We need unity, stability and efficiency. Rishi is the only candidate that fits the bill and I am proud to support him.

n
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Another cabinet minister coming out this morning in support of Rishi Sunak, as work and pensions secretary Chloe Smith said that she will vote for him.

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Smith said she had spoken to Sunak and “listened to views of local members”, adding: “I intend to back Rishi to be prime minister, acting in the national interest and achieving the stability and opportunity that our nation needs.”

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She voted for Truss in this summer’s leadership election, and her majority in Norwich North is just under 5,000.

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She follows fellow cabinet member Grant Shapps in announcing her backing for the former chancellor on Sunday.

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Another backbencher, Mark Pawsey, has come out in support of Rishi Sunak, taking him to 130 MPs who have publicly declared they will vote for him on Monday.

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Pawsey tweeted saying he will vote for Sunak, after he confirmed his candidacy earlier on Sunday morning.

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According to the Guardian’s count, it means that Sunak has the support of 130 MPs who have publicly announced their support for him.

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Grant Shapps, who was made home secretary on Wednesday last week after Suella Braverman’s resignation, has said he will vote for Rishi Sunak.

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Shapps, who was transport secretary under Boris Johnson and had three days as a leadership contender in the summer, said Sunak would provide “stability and proven economic competence”.

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He is the 129th MP according to the Guardian’s tally to publicly say he will be supporting Sunak.

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The former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has the most MPs publicly supporting him in the leadership contest, has announced he will stand.

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Sunak, who lost in the leadership election to Liz Truss earlier this summer, said he wants to “fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country”. The Guardian’s tally has him on 126 MPs.

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He joins Penny Mordaunt as the second candidate to officially enter the race. Boris Johnson, who met with Sunak last night, is yet to announce he will stand.

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In his statement, posted on Twitter, Sunak said: “The choice our party makes now will decide whether the next generation of British people will have more opportunities than the last.

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“That’s why I am standing to be your next prime minister and leader of the Conservative party. I want to fix our economy, unite our country and deliver for our country.

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“I served as your chancellor, helping to steer our economy through the toughest of times.

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“The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities – if we make the right choice – are phenomenal.”

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The launch is notable for being lower-tech than when he announced his candidacy in the summer with a slick video. It raised eyebrows from some that he had been preparing it for some time before Johnson announced he was standing down.

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Wrapping up with the panel after the Dominic Raab interview finishes, Laura Kuenssberg asks Iain Duncan Smith whether he thinks the vote should go to the members – a hot topic in Conservative party circles. Jacob Rees-Mogg wrote an opinion piece for the Telegraph on Friday saying it was important that it did so.

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He pauses, then says: “I want my party to settle down. I want my party to recognise that it is staring over the brink of a precipice, they have to make a decision whether they want to step back.

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“I believe in the democracy process. If there are two candidates then it must go to the electorate. But it may be possible that there aren’t.”

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There then appear to be problems with the sound output on BBC One, so the end of Duncan-Smith’s comments, Kuenssberg’s wrapping up and a montage showing shots of David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street can’t be heard.

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If any remarks from the closing stages emerge later on, I’ll bring them to you.

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Final question from Kuenssberg, as she asks whether Labour would increase NHS funding in line with inflation.

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Sir Keir again does not answer in specifics, despite the presenter trying to get a “yes/no” answer.

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“We will set out what we will do with the NHS, but of course the NHS needs more money.

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“Laura, it needs more than money. My wife works in the NHS, my mum worked in the NHS, my sister works in the NHS, I ran a public service.

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“I know that of course they need more money, but I also know that it needs reform. The NHS needs to move to a preventative model, but it’s part of the answer.”

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That’s it for the Labour leader’s interview.

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is now being interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg. She asks which candidate he would like to face.

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He calls the leadership contest and situation in the Conservative party a “ridiculous, chaotic circus”.

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“My focus is on the millions of people who are struggling to pay their bills, now have additional anxieties about their mortgage, I know what it feels like, it happened to me and my family when I was growing up. They are fed up to the back teeth about this.

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“They could have a stable Labour government, who would restore faith in the institutions that give us market stability.”

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He calls for a general election, repeating a line he used last week before and after Liz Truss stood down.

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“They could put their party first or their country first. The country needs change, it needs stability, and to get rid of this chaos,” Sir Keir says.

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A big-name supporter coming out for Boris Johnson, Nadhim Zahawi, who briefly stood in the leadership contest this summer after a similarly short spell as Johnson’s chancellor, has said he would support his former boss.

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He said: “I’m backing Boris. He got the big calls right, whether it was ordering more vaccines ahead of more waves of Covid, arming early [Ukraine] against the advice of some, or stepping down for the sake of unity. But now, Britain needs him back. We need to unite to deliver on our manifesto.”

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An interesting snippet from the Times’ political editor Steven Swinford on Johnson and Sunak’s meeting last night.

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Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris is supporting Boris Johnson. He tells Ridge that the former prime minister is “still a vote-winner, he’s the candidate that Labour fears”.

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Heaton-Harris said he is still hoping that Johnson runs, and that he has enough nominations to run. He said that as Johnson’s former chief whip, he’s “good at knowing what the numbers are”.

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Ridge asked why the same number haven’t said so publicly.

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Heaton-Harris says: “We have already booked the appointment with Bob Blackman, secretary of the 1922 tomorrow, so we have the numbers. There are some people in government positions, and some people who might be whips or on the 22 executive, but they don’t have to come forward. In the votes, it’s a secret ballot, I guess you could say that a secret vote is part of democracy.”

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Ridge then asks Baker about Boris Johnson.

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Baker replies: “There is a lot of love for Boris Johnson and I respect that. This isn’t the time for Boris’s style. I’m afraid the trouble is because of the privileges vote, Boris would be a guaranteed disaster.

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“There is going to be a vote before the House of Commons on whether he deliberately misled the house. In that vote it is guaranteed there will be a large number of Conservatives who will refuse to lay down their integrity to save him. At that point his premiership will collapse.”

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Baker says there is an argument to have that vote on the first day, but it would not work. Sixty-two MPs resigned from his government over the Chris Pincher saga. “At that moment where there is a vote in the House of Commons on privilege, his premiership would collapse. It is a guaranteed nailed on failure, and we cannot let it happen.”

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Key events

James Heappey, MP for Wells and Minister of State for the Armed Forces & Veterans, has posted on Twitter, announcing his support for Rishi Sunak. This brings Sunak total to 142.

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He says:

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n

I’ve been agonising all weekend knowing that our choice as next PM must bring together our divided party & restore stability to our Government. All wings of our party will need to work together after contest to achieve that but I’m supporting @RishiSunak to lead us in doing so.

n
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n

Boris & Liz have led world in responding to the war in Ukraine. We must continue to lead. But that international leadership is only possible if our domestic politics & economy are stable. Rishi can deliver that stability at home, so we can continue to lead support for Ukraine.

n
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Bloomberg reporter Alex Wickham and the Sun’s political editor Harry Cole have both tweeted a screenshot which they say is of a post showing MP Chris Heaton-Harris in the Johnson campaign WhatsApp group claiming they’ve “now verified 100 MP nominations” and “completed paperwork to get on the ballot”.

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It’s important to note that so far we have only seen 57 verified nominations, only a handful of which have emerged in the last 24 hours.

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Keir Starmer is facing growing pressure from the left of the Labour party to seek a more radically redistributive economic programme – as he warned that the current economic conditions will minimise the scope for action if his party wins the next general election.

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Corbyn-era shadow cabinet member Rebecca Long-Bailey has echoed the frustration of many on the left at what they view as an excessively cautious approach despite Labour’s huge poll leads suggesting they are in a position to win a large parliamentary majority.

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Writing in the Independent, she said Labour must be ready to take advantage of a “watershed” moment in British politics by offering a “transformative socialist programme for government”.

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Another cabinet minister has come out in support of Rishi Sunak, as culture secretary Michelle Donelan has said she supports his “unity, stability, delivery and relentless focus”.

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Donelan, who was education secretary for two days under Boris Johnson in July, said it was important for the party to “come together and unite”.

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Her backing means that according to the Guardian’s count, Sunak now has 140 MPs who have said publicly that they will vote for him.

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Here’s a round-up of today’s key developments in the final day before Conservative party MPs vote in the first ballot as part of the contest to elect their next leader.

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    n
  • Rishi Sunak has announced his candidacy to be the next Tory leader. In a statement, posted on Twitter, he promised to “fix our economy, unite our country and deliver for our country”.

  • n
  • A number of key declarations of support have been made. Suella Braverman, Grant Shapps and Chloe Smith have all said they will support Sunak in the vote on Monday.

  • n
  • Former vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, who was briefly Johnson’s chancellor, said he will vote for him, as will foreign secretary James Cleverly.

  • n
  • Johnson is still yet to announce his candidacy. Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris told Sky News that the former PM had the 100 MPs needed to get through the ballot on Monday.

  • n
  • Talks were held between Sunak and Johnson that ended late on Saturday night without a deal.

  • n
  • Similar discussions took place between Mordaunt and Johnson on Sunday afternoon, with the former prime minister reportedly asking Mordaunt to drop out of the contest – a request she refused.

  • n
  • Mordaunt appeared on BBC One in an interview with Laura Kuenssberg, and declined to make any agreements on policy.

  • n
  • New polling from Opinium that has been published in the last few minutes shows that the public prefer Rishi Sunak over Boris Johnson to be the next prime minister.

  • n
  • Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC that the Tories were “staring over the brink of a precipice” with its current problems.

  • n
  • Former European Research Group chair Steve Baker said Johnson’s return as prime minister would be “a guaranteed disaster” because of an upcoming vote on whether he lied to the House of Commons over Partygate.

  • n
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As reported at 3:38pm, PA Media is reporting a line briefed out that Boris Johnson asked Penny Mordaunt to drop out of the leadership race and to back him.

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“Sources close to the Leader of the House of Commons” told the news agency that Mordaunt refused, warning that most of her support would switch to Rishi Sunak if she did.

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A big declaration of support for Boris Johnson from foreign secretary James Cleverly, as he said he will vote for him if he stands in Monday’s vote.

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Cleverly, who was education secretary for a month under Johnson, and a minister previous to that, said that he thinks Johnson has “learned his lessons from his time” in Downing Street.

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“[He] will ensure the focus is on the needs of the country from day 1,” he said.

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Former home secretary Suella Braverman, who resigned on Wednesday, has said that she is supporting Rishi Sunak’s bid to become prime minister.

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Braverman, who served as attorney general under Boris Johnson, is a big figure on the right of the party and it was thought that she may have launched a leadership bid herself. Her support for Sunak will count as a big blow to Johnson’s campaign.

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Her resignation letter to Liz Truss on Wednesday criticised breaking manifesto pledges. She is an MP who has engaged most readily with “culture war issues” and said it would be her “dream” to see refugees deported to Rwanda.

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Writing in the Telegraph (paywall), she said Johnson is “one of our most significant prime ministers in history”.

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But she pivots to say:

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n

Things need to change. We, as a party, need to change. We need to provide leadership, stability and confidence to the British people. We cannot indulge in parochial or nativist fantasies. Yes, I want a leader of our Party and our country to inspire hope for a better future and raise our spirits. And I need a leader who will put our house in order and apply a steady, careful hand on the tiller. That person, for me, is Rishi Sunak.

n
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She ends by saying that Britain is in “dire straits” and Sunak is the candidate that “fits the bill.”

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n

I have backed Boris from the start. From running alongside him in London in 2012, to supporting him to be our leader in 2019 and willing him to succeed throughout the travails of this year. His resignation in July was a loss for our country.

n

But we are in dire straits now. We need unity, stability and efficiency. Rishi is the only candidate that fits the bill and I am proud to support him.

n
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Another cabinet minister coming out this morning in support of Rishi Sunak, as work and pensions secretary Chloe Smith said that she will vote for him.

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Smith said she had spoken to Sunak and “listened to views of local members”, adding: “I intend to back Rishi to be prime minister, acting in the national interest and achieving the stability and opportunity that our nation needs.”

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She voted for Truss in this summer’s leadership election, and her majority in Norwich North is just under 5,000.

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She follows fellow cabinet member Grant Shapps in announcing her backing for the former chancellor on Sunday.

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Another backbencher, Mark Pawsey, has come out in support of Rishi Sunak, taking him to 130 MPs who have publicly declared they will vote for him on Monday.

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Pawsey tweeted saying he will vote for Sunak, after he confirmed his candidacy earlier on Sunday morning.

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According to the Guardian’s count, it means that Sunak has the support of 130 MPs who have publicly announced their support for him.

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Grant Shapps, who was made home secretary on Wednesday last week after Suella Braverman’s resignation, has said he will vote for Rishi Sunak.

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Shapps, who was transport secretary under Boris Johnson and had three days as a leadership contender in the summer, said Sunak would provide “stability and proven economic competence”.

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He is the 129th MP according to the Guardian’s tally to publicly say he will be supporting Sunak.

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The former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has the most MPs publicly supporting him in the leadership contest, has announced he will stand.

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Sunak, who lost in the leadership election to Liz Truss earlier this summer, said he wants to “fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country”. The Guardian’s tally has him on 126 MPs.

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He joins Penny Mordaunt as the second candidate to officially enter the race. Boris Johnson, who met with Sunak last night, is yet to announce he will stand.

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In his statement, posted on Twitter, Sunak said: “The choice our party makes now will decide whether the next generation of British people will have more opportunities than the last.

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“That’s why I am standing to be your next prime minister and leader of the Conservative party. I want to fix our economy, unite our country and deliver for our country.

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“I served as your chancellor, helping to steer our economy through the toughest of times.

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“The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities – if we make the right choice – are phenomenal.”

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The launch is notable for being lower-tech than when he announced his candidacy in the summer with a slick video. It raised eyebrows from some that he had been preparing it for some time before Johnson announced he was standing down.

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Wrapping up with the panel after the Dominic Raab interview finishes, Laura Kuenssberg asks Iain Duncan Smith whether he thinks the vote should go to the members – a hot topic in Conservative party circles. Jacob Rees-Mogg wrote an opinion piece for the Telegraph on Friday saying it was important that it did so.

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He pauses, then says: “I want my party to settle down. I want my party to recognise that it is staring over the brink of a precipice, they have to make a decision whether they want to step back.

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“I believe in the democracy process. If there are two candidates then it must go to the electorate. But it may be possible that there aren’t.”

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There then appear to be problems with the sound output on BBC One, so the end of Duncan-Smith’s comments, Kuenssberg’s wrapping up and a montage showing shots of David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street can’t be heard.

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If any remarks from the closing stages emerge later on, I’ll bring them to you.

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Final question from Kuenssberg, as she asks whether Labour would increase NHS funding in line with inflation.

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Sir Keir again does not answer in specifics, despite the presenter trying to get a “yes/no” answer.

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“We will set out what we will do with the NHS, but of course the NHS needs more money.

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“Laura, it needs more than money. My wife works in the NHS, my mum worked in the NHS, my sister works in the NHS, I ran a public service.

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“I know that of course they need more money, but I also know that it needs reform. The NHS needs to move to a preventative model, but it’s part of the answer.”

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That’s it for the Labour leader’s interview.

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is now being interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg. She asks which candidate he would like to face.

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He calls the leadership contest and situation in the Conservative party a “ridiculous, chaotic circus”.

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“My focus is on the millions of people who are struggling to pay their bills, now have additional anxieties about their mortgage, I know what it feels like, it happened to me and my family when I was growing up. They are fed up to the back teeth about this.

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“They could have a stable Labour government, who would restore faith in the institutions that give us market stability.”

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He calls for a general election, repeating a line he used last week before and after Liz Truss stood down.

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“They could put their party first or their country first. The country needs change, it needs stability, and to get rid of this chaos,” Sir Keir says.

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A big-name supporter coming out for Boris Johnson, Nadhim Zahawi, who briefly stood in the leadership contest this summer after a similarly short spell as Johnson’s chancellor, has said he would support his former boss.

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He said: “I’m backing Boris. He got the big calls right, whether it was ordering more vaccines ahead of more waves of Covid, arming early [Ukraine] against the advice of some, or stepping down for the sake of unity. But now, Britain needs him back. We need to unite to deliver on our manifesto.”

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An interesting snippet from the Times’ political editor Steven Swinford on Johnson and Sunak’s meeting last night.

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Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris is supporting Boris Johnson. He tells Ridge that the former prime minister is “still a vote-winner, he’s the candidate that Labour fears”.

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Heaton-Harris said he is still hoping that Johnson runs, and that he has enough nominations to run. He said that as Johnson’s former chief whip, he’s “good at knowing what the numbers are”.

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Ridge asked why the same number haven’t said so publicly.

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Heaton-Harris says: “We have already booked the appointment with Bob Blackman, secretary of the 1922 tomorrow, so we have the numbers. There are some people in government positions, and some people who might be whips or on the 22 executive, but they don’t have to come forward. In the votes, it’s a secret ballot, I guess you could say that a secret vote is part of democracy.”

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Ridge then asks Baker about Boris Johnson.

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Baker replies: “There is a lot of love for Boris Johnson and I respect that. This isn’t the time for Boris’s style. I’m afraid the trouble is because of the privileges vote, Boris would be a guaranteed disaster.

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“There is going to be a vote before the House of Commons on whether he deliberately misled the house. In that vote it is guaranteed there will be a large number of Conservatives who will refuse to lay down their integrity to save him. At that point his premiership will collapse.”

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Baker says there is an argument to have that vote on the first day, but it would not work. Sixty-two MPs resigned from his government over the Chris Pincher saga. “At that moment where there is a vote in the House of Commons on privilege, his premiership would collapse. It is a guaranteed nailed on failure, and we cannot let it happen.”

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Filters BETA

The rival camps were skeptical about the claim by Boris Johnson supporters that they had reached the threshold of 100 deputies needed to appear on the ballot, reports the AP.

Earlier, a leaked WhatsApp message claiming to be from Johnson supporter Chris Heaton-Harris said: “I can confirm that we have completed all paperwork (verified all nominations, with nominator and linebacker) to be on the ballot tomorrow.”

Backbench MP Richard Holden, a Sunak supporter, tweeted: “Very strange to be talking about this again…(two days in a row). That’s what they said yesterday.

“It’s almost like they still need people and are desperate to show momentum, which they can’t because no one will come out publicly.”

Interestingly, dozens of MPs now want Johnson back in power despite his support for his decision to step down as Tory leader this summer.

A reminder that the candidates will need 100 nominations from fellow Tory MPs by 2pm tomorrow if they are to go through with a final poll of Tory members.

Defense Minister James Heappey backs Sunak

James HeappeyMP for Wells and Minister of State for the Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs, posted on Twitter, announcing his support for Rishi Sunak. That brings Sunak’s total to 142.

He says:

I agonized all weekend knowing that our choice as the next prime minister must bring our divided party together and restore stability to our government. All wings of our party will need to work together after the contest to achieve this, but I support @RishiSunak to lead us to do so.

Boris and Liz led the world in responding to the war in Ukraine. We must continue to lead. But this international leadership is only possible if our domestic politics and economy are stable. Rishi can bring that stability home, so that we can continue to lead support for Ukraine.

Reports point to Johnson campaign set to celebrate reaching 100 MP nominations

Bloomberg reporter Alex Wickham and Sun political editor Harry Cole both tweeted a screenshot they believe is of a post showing MP Chris Heaton Harris in the Johnson campaign’s WhatsApp group saying they have ‘now checked 100 MP nominations’ and ‘completed the paperwork to be on the ballot’.

It’s important to note that so far, we’ve only seen 57 verified nominations, with only a handful emerging in the last 24 hours.

Here’s Johnson MP Chris Heaton Harris in their WhatsApp campaign group saying they’ve now vetted 100 MP nominations and completed the paperwork to be on the ballot… we’ll find out tomorrow pic.twitter.com/rjzSywRpV6

— Alex Wickham (@alexwickham) October 23, 2022

MP for Finchley and Golders Green Mike Freer was added to Sunak’s list of supporters, after confirming his support for the former chancellor in a tweet earlier on Sunday.

Sunak’s public backers have placed him safely past the threshold of 100 MP nominations required to be on the ballot for the Tory leadership race. So far, he has 141.

Here is the full list of publicly declared MPs.

In the leadership contest, I will support Rishi.

— Mike Freer (@MikeFreer_) October 23, 2022

The Observer’s political editor Toby Helm tweeted his prediction of what’s to come.

A not unlikely scenario is that Johnson gets 100 just. Mordaunt gives up. Most of his MPs go to Sunak, giving him about twice as many as Johnson in the final indicative vote of MPs. If Johnson then wins among the members with a large number of MPs who don’t want him…it’s total chaos.

—Toby Helm (@tobyhelm) October 23, 2022

Former Governor of the Bank of England Mervin King issued a warning that Britons face years of financial hardship which could be ‘tougher’ than during the era of austerity under former Tory Chancellor George Osborne. He said households would face both higher taxes and higher mortgage rates.

Starmer under pressure from the left for a more radical Labor economic program

Keir Starmer is facing growing pressure from the Labor left to seek a more radically redistributive economic program – as he has warned that current economic conditions will reduce the policy space if his party wins the next general election.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, a member of the Corbyn-era shadow cabinet, echoed the frustration of many on the left at what they see as an overly cautious approach despite huge Labor polls suggesting they are able to win a large parliamentary majority.

Writing in the Independent, she said Labor must be ready to capitalize on a ‘decisive’ moment in British politics by delivering a ‘transformative socialist agenda for government’.

Our Deputy Political Editor, Rowena Mason, has written a helpful explainer on the issues facing the next Prime Minister in the months ahead.

For those who have just caught up, Rishi SunakJohnson’s support currently stands at 140 MPs, two and a half times the number of publicly declared supporters of Johnson, who has 56 supporters. Penny Mordaunt, the third candidate, has about 25 supporters.

In a damning verdict on the prospect of Johnson’s return as prime minister, Suella Braverman said the party “cannot indulge in parochial or nativist fantasies”.

She warned fellow Tory MPs not to be ‘naive’ when deciding who to nominate for the competition. Braverman’s move is significant because Johnson’s team had made a “big pitch” to him on Saturday in the hope that winning the former home secretary would persuade his fellow right-wing MPs to back him.

Braverman is a former head of the EU research group of Brexiteer MPs. This is another sign that the ERG is split between Sunak and Johnson.

Culture Secretary steps out for Sunak

Another cabinet minister came out in favor of Rishi Sunakas cultural secretary Michelle Donelan said she was supportive of his “unity, stability, delivery and relentless focus”.

Donelanwho served as education secretary for two days under Boris Johnson in July, said it was important for the party to ‘come together and unite’.

His support means that by the Guardian’s tally, Sunak now has 140 MPs who have publicly declared they would vote for him.

Earlier today I publicly supported @RishiSunak to be our next prime minister. The country faces many challenges – now is the time for unity, stability, achievement and unremitting focus.

It is crucial that we come together and unite behind this common mission.

— Michelle Donelan MP (@michelledonelan) October 23, 2022

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