Tory Party leadership Rivals Await Result of MPs’ Votes

Tory Party leadership hopefuls face a nervous wait as their colleagues begin the first round of voting in the contest for No 10. The eight candidates who have made it onto the ballot paper will have to secure at least 30 votes to stay in the race to become prime minister.

It is the first of a series of secret ballots over the next few days to whittle the field down to a final two.

Voting will close today at 15.30 BST, with a result expected around 17.00 BST.

MPs have formed a queue outside the room in Parliament where they cast their vote.

It comes after Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt becomes the latest MP to hold an event to launch her leadership campaign.

She joins Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Nadhim Zahawi on the ballot, as all have secured the required 20 nominations from Tory MPs to make it into the first round.

With campaigning stepping up a gear, Ms Mordaunt pledged to slash VAT on fuel and raise income tax thresholds.

Setting out her stall at a hot, crowded launch event, she also promised parents more flexibility over subsidised childcare and said she would give MPs control over “social capital pots” to spend on their local areas. Pitching herself as a team player, she said if she won office she would introduce a “tighter” cabinet of ministers with powers across Whitehall.

Adding that the Conservative Party had “lost its sense of self”, she also vowed to return to the values of “small state, low tax, personal responsibility”.

Ex-Health Secretary Sajid Javid and junior minister Rehman Chishti have dropped out of the race, after failing to pick up enough support.

The 30 vote threshold – which has been introduced to quickly narrow the field – could see a number of further candidates knocked out. Candidates will also appear at two further hustings events on Wednesday, as the race to secure endorsements heats up.

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