Sam Gyimah fails to secure backing and quits Conservative leadership race

Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson

To be in the running, each candidate for the Conservative Party leadership the MPs needed to have a proposer, a seconder and the support of six other members.

Boris Johnson, one of the favourites to succeed outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, has said he will not pay the £39 billion so-called "Brexit bill" that has been assigned to the United Kingdom if the European Union refuses to provide another deal.

Like Mr Johnson, Mr Gove helped lead the campaign to leave the European Union, but scuttled Mr Johnson's bid to become prime minister in 2016 when he unexpectedly withdrew support and made a decision to run for the job himself - a move that gives him a lingering taint of treachery in the eyes of some Conservatives.

"All candidates in this race owe the public clear answers", Harper said of Johnson. But a last-minute candidacy entry from Gove - literally hours before the nominations closed - sought to scupper Johnson's hopes.

"It is about time that we strengthen the political bonds between United Kingdom and India, following the recent decline".

Her intervention comes as Tory lawmakers on either side of the Brexit divide begin to pick the candidates they are backing in the prime ministerial race, which remains wide open with almost a dozen hopefuls in the fray.

She will remain as caretaker prime minister until her successor is chosen.

Having been a loyal lieutenant to the disastrous leadership of Britain's present Prime Minister, Hunt is seen as a contingency-May candidate, who herself was thought of at the time of her selection as a continuation of the legacy of David Cameron.

Among the most prominent opponents of Mr Hunt to capture the leadership and hence the Prime Ministership are Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Boris Johnson.

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"That is why at this time we need someone who has been tested in the heat of battle".

The last leadership election in 2016 suffered from too little scrutiny of the candidates.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

He received a boost with the endorsement of eurosceptic Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, although he is likely to anger some in the ruling party by refusing to rule out another Brexit delay.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Interior Minister Sajid Javid, former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and Commons leader Andrea Leadsom are also in the running among several others.

Promising to deliver an energising blend of social liberalism and economic dynamism, he says the Conservatives have to look beyond Brexit.

These included worldwide development minister Rory Stewart, home affairs minister Sajid Javid, former work and pensions minister and ex-TV presenter Esther McVey, health minister Matthew Hancock, and former immigration minister Mark Harper.

Thirteen MPs had said they would stand but James Cleverly and Kit Malthouse pulled out early on while Sam Gyimah failed to gain the required eight backers to make it onto the final list of candidates.

Conservative deputies will hold the first vote on the 10 names on Thursday morning, with those who get fewer than 17 votes to be knocked out.

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