Matt Hancock pulls out of Tory leadership race

Friday, June 14, 2019

Matt Hancock has withdrawn from the Conservative leadership race.

The health secretary secured 20 votes in the first ballot of the contest yesterday, placing sixth.

In a video posted to his Twitter page, the politician said he was a candidate "of the future", and it was increasingly clear that the party needed someone that could deal with the "unique circumstances that exist now".

"I have therefore decided to withdraw from this contest, and I will look for the best way to advance the values we fought for, of free enterprise, and an open, aspirational, free society, underpinned by an optimistic belief in the value of each individual person," he said.

"I will talk to all the other candidates about how these values can be best taken forward."

He has not yet announced which of the Tory leadership candidates he will now be backing.

During his campaign, Mr Hancock vowed to go to Brussels to broker a time limit to the controversial Irish backstop and said MPs would block a no-deal Brexit.

He also pledged to raise the national living wage to more than £10 an hour.

The six remaining candidates will need to secure 33 votes in the second vote on Tuesday in order to continue in the race.

Boris Johnson remained the frontrunner in yesterday's ballot with 114 votes, followed by Jeremy Hunt with 43.

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