Eight candidates for Prime Minister face first round of voting
The first round of voting in the Conservative leadership contest takes place today with the result to be announced this evening.
Eight MPs are vying to become the next prime minister: Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Nadhim Zahawi.
Grant Shapps dropped out of the race yesterday to endorse Sunak.
Sajid Javid and Rehman Chishti also ended their leadership bids after failing to get the 20 nominations from Tory MPs to progress to the first round.
The next round of voting takes place between 13:30 and 15:30 today, with the result expected around 17:00.
Candidates must secure the backing of 30 MPs. If all reach that threshold, the person with the fewest votes will be eliminated.
The second round of voting is expected to take place tomorrow. Theses rounds will continue until there are two candidates left, with the vote then going out to the wider Conservative party membership.
Sunak, who remains the favourite and secured the most nominations yesterday, officially launched his campaign by warning against “demonising” Boris Johnson.
Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, received the backing of Johnson loyalists Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Among Scottish Tory MPs who have declared their support, John Lamont is backing Mordaunt, saying she would “unifty the country and the Conservative Party”.
Andrew Bowie has backed Sunak, praising his efforts as chancellor throughout the pandemic.
The SNP has meanwhile said that “whoever wins, Scotland will lose”.
Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “With the Tory leadership contest descending into a rabid race to the right, and the woeful list of candidates trying to outdo each other in support for a hard Brexit and deep austerity cuts, it is clear whoever wins, Scotland will lose.”