Grant Shapps Drops Out Of Tory Leadership Race And Backs Rishi Sunak

Transport secretary says former chancellor has "competence and experience" to be prime minister.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Grant Shapps has dropped out of the Conservative Party leadership race and thrown his support behind Rishi Sunak.

“Huge thanks to my team for helping to pull together my leadership bid in literally no time!,” the transport secretary tweeted on Tuesday.

“Amongst a field of brilliant candidates I’ve spoken to Rishi Sunak who I believe has the competence and experience to lead this country.”

Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, has also announced he is backing the former chancellor.

Earlier, arch Boris Johnson loyalists Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg came out in support of foreign secretary Liz Truss in a bid to block Sunak.

Candidates need the support of at least 20 of their fellow MPs by 10pm tonight to proceed in the contest.

So far, the only ones to hit that number are Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Tom Tugendhat.

All of those with the requisite support will go forward to Wednesday’s ballot of Tory MPs.

Several other candidates – including Truss, Nadhim Zahawi, Jeremy Hunt and Kemi Badenoch – were close enough before nominations formally opened to suggest they will be in the race.

Sunak – who has the most declarations of support so far – is alone among the contenders to succeed Johnson in not promising immediate tax cuts if he wins.

He has come under attack from allies of the prime minister, who believe his announcement last week that he is quitting helped trigger the slew of resignations which forced Johnson to admit his time is up.


What's Hot