Tory leadership contest: Rory Stewart knocked out

BBC politics is reporting that four men are left in the race to be next prime minister after Rory Stewart, pictured above,  was knocked out.

The international development secretary was eliminated after coming last with 27 votes, 10 fewer than last time.

He said his warnings about a no-deal Brexit “probably proved to be truths people weren’t quite ready to hear”.

Boris Johnson topped the vote again with 143 votes, 17 more than last time. Jeremy Hunt came second, with 54, narrowly ahead of Michael Gove with 51.

Sajid Javid also made it into the next round with 38 votes, five more than in round two.

A fourth round of voting will take place on Thursday.

Mr Stewart started as a rank outsider in the race but gained support on the back of an unusual campaign strategy.

Touring the country for pop-up meetings, which were promoted and recorded on social media, he drew large crowds and won the backing of several senior cabinet ministers.

He had accused other candidates, including Mr Johnson, of lacking realism over Brexit and making undeliverable promises.

After his elimination, he tweeted that he had been “inspired” by the support he received which had rekindled his faith and belief in politics.

Mr Stewart, who has ruled out serving under Mr Johnson because of their differences over Brexit, added “I appear to have written my cabinet resignation letter.”

He said he had not decided who to now support.

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