Gove launches Tory leadership bid after ousting Johnson

1 Jul 16

Michael Gove has launched a bid to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister but Boris Johnson is not among the five candidates following the close of nominations.

Gove had been excepted to support the former mayor of London’s bid to replace David Cameron after the two led the successful campaign for a Brexit vote in last week’s EU referendum, which led to Cameron’s resignation.

However, the justice secretary and former education secretary has announced his own candidacy, today stating that he would “embrace the change” of leaving the European Union after concluding that Johnson could not build a team for the task ahead.

Other confirmed candidates include home secretary Theresa May, who is the new favorite to become the next prime minister, as well as work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb, energy minister Andrea Leadsom and former defence secretary Liam Fox.

In her leadership bid launch yesterday, May said that she would abandon chancellor George Osborne’s plan to reach a budget surplus by 2020.

She said “while it is absolutely vital that the government continues with its intention to reduce public spending and cut the budget deficit, we should no longer seek to reach a budget surplus by the end of the Parliament”.

If there was a choice between further spending cuts, more borrowing and tax rises, her priority would be to avoid tax increases, she stated.

The first ballot among Conservative MPs will take place on Tuesday. The candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated, with a further vote then held on Thursday in order to reduce the number of nominations to two, which will then be voted on by Conservative party members.

If more than two candidates remain in the race voting will take place every Tuesday and Thursday until only two remain.

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