Cleverly Withdraws

James Cleverly has become the first of the 13 Tory candidates to withdraw. He will now not be submitting his nomination papers…

“Last week I announced that I intended to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister.

I felt that we needed to deliver Brexit and then quickly move the conversation on to other important issues that face the country. I had hoped that the Conservative parliamentary party would support me to be the face and voice of that conversation.

To do this I asked them to make a leap of faith, skip a generation and vote for a relatively new MP. It is clear that despite much support, particularly from our party’s grassroots, MPs weren’t comfortable with such a move and it has become clear that it is highly unlikely that I would progress to the final two candidates.

For this reason I have withdrawn from the process of selecting a new leader and will not be submitting nomination papers”

This will pile on the pressure for other incredibly long-shot candidates to withdraw before they’re mercilessly voted down by the Parliamentary Party. And then there were twelve

UPDATE: This means four MPs are now unpledged; Colin Clark, Julian Knight, Stephen Metcalfe and James Cleverly of course.

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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