Shailesh Vara has dropped out the speakership election just hours before MPs are expected to start voting.
In a Tweet confirming the move, Vara said he didn’t want to split the vote and would be backing Lindsay Hoyle.
Grateful to many MPs across the House who pledged support for me to be the next Speaker. Sadly, I have concluded I don’t have the numbers to win
So as not to split the vote I am withdrawing from the contest and will support @LindsayHoyle_MP Thanks again to those who supported me
— Shailesh Vara MP (@ShaileshVara) November 4, 2019
Following Vara’s pulling out, and Sir Henry Bellingham withdrawing on Friday, there are 7 candidates remaining on the ballot paper this afternoon:
We should know by 8pm tonight…