Leadsom, McVey and Harper eliminated in Tory leadership vote Key points:Boris Johnson wins first round of Tory leadership contestFormer foreign secretary gets votes of 114 MPs, Jeremy Hunt second with 43Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Mark Harper eliminated as seven candidates remainContenders needed 17 votes to get through to second roundLive reporting by Greg Heffer and Alan McGuinness, political reporters18:01That’s all for today, folksThis live blog is closing down for the day, thanks for following along. You can read our summary of today’s events by following the link below:17:34WATCH: What does Brussels make of the Tory leadership contest?17:14PODCAST: Does Johnson have one foot in Number 10?17:11Raab: Race is ‘just getting started'”We’re right at the beginning of this race,” Dominic Raab said. The former Brexit secretary, who came fourth in the first ballot, added: “We haven’t really tested the visions, the ideas, the policies of all of the candidates and I think the debates coming up – the first one on Sunday – is a great opportunity to test the views, the vision, the policies that we’re all talking about. “I’m looking forward to that. “I’ll be the underdog, fighting for the underdog. “Whether it’s the worker that hasn’t had a pay rise, whether it’s the kid from the tough council estate that wants their shot in life, or whether it’s the British people, who have been written off for too long. “This race is just getting started and I’m relishing it.”17:03Amid Tory leadership machinations, Britain’s top civil servant is giving a rare interview. . . 16:19STORY: ‘We will bring him down’ – Tory rival Rory Stewart’s threat to Boris JohnsonCabinet minister Rory Stewart has issued a stunning threat to “bring down” a Boris Johnson-led government – should his Tory rival suspend parliament in order to push through a no-deal Brexit.16:03’Cheeky’ claim from Hancock that may irritate Team Hunt15:01Gove reacts to third-placed finish”I’m delighted to be through to the next round of the Tory leadership contest along with a range of other very good candidates and I’d like to thank everyone who supported me from across the Conservative Party and beyond,” he said. “I now want to make sure that we have a proper debate about ideas. “I believe that I’ve got the policies that can transform this country for the better. “I’ve got the experience of delivery that can make sure that we have a brighter future and I’ve got the range of support which will enable all of us in this country to come together. “I’m ready to unite, ready to deliver, ready to lead.”14:57Johnson would be 20th Old Etonian PM14:34Clarke: Johnson ‘says different things every day’Rory Stewart supporter Ken Clarke tells e News his man did “extremely well”, despite being the “least well-known candidate”. The former chancellor says he agrees with Mr Stewart position that he would bring down Boris Johnson if he, as PM, suspended Parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit. Mr Clarke is scathing about Mr Johnson, telling e News: “He says different things every day. “He adds: “Right now, I don’t think he has really thought through what exactly he would do to get us out of this crisis if he was elected.”14:21ANALYSIS: Barring a catastrophic self-implosion, Boris Johnson is our next prime ministerOur political correspondent Lewis Goodall writes: Westminster is full of truisms; glib clichés about the physics of political life which are said to be immutable and eternal. So often – they’re a load of rubbish. The last few years in particular have seen every sacred cow sent to the metaphorical political abattoir; these days politics is less like Newtonian physics, more surrealist art. And one of oldest laws of political life might be about to be similarly consigned: that the favourite in a Tory leadership race never wins. For after today’s first ballot, Boris Johnson is in better fettle than ever. He won 114 votes, more than expected, 71 more than his closest rival, Jeremy Hunt. If all he does in subsequent rounds is simply maintain that level of support and doesn’t add a single extra vote, he is guaranteed a place in the last two and will be put before Conservative members. The big danger for Johnson today was not meeting expectations; if he had scored in the sixties or seventies he would have lost much momentum; he might have seemed more vulnerable to challenge from other Brexiters. Instead, now it seems likely that he will be able to absorb many of the no deal votes from the eliminated candidates, Leadsom and McVey and perhaps, eventually the better scoring Dominic Raab. All eyes will be on what happens to their supporters and the supporters of those already eliminated. If Dominic Raab drops out and he, McVey and Leadsom eventually back Johnson, he will, more or less be the unalloyed Brexiter candidate. He will face a remainer in the last two, exactly what he wants. He will be immune from challenge from the Brexiter right. That will be his overriding objec
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