People's Vote Supporter Sam Gyimah Pulls Out Of Tory Leadership Race

"There simply has not been enough time to build sufficient support".
Associated Press

A Tory former minister who backs a second Brexit referendum has been forced to quit of the party’s leadership contest after failing to gather the support of six MPs.

Sam Gyimah stepped aside minutes before the backbench Tory 1922 committee prepared to announce the official list of candidates.

The committee had ruled that leadership hopefuls must secure eight MPs to make it on to the ballot paper for the first round of voting on Thursday.

Gyimah blamed a lack of time for his failure to get enough support after announcing his candidacy eight days ago.

In a statement, he said: “I entered the Conservative party leadership contest to broaden the debate and bring the diverse views of millions on Brexit to the fore.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to be able to make the case for a new referendum as a credible solution to break the Brexit deadlock.

“I am hugely appreciative of the support I have received, both in public and in private.

“But I have reached the conclusion that, having entered the race at such a late stage, there simply has not been enough time to build sufficient support and I have decided to step back.

“My purpose in campaigning for a solution to break the deadlock and bringing new ideas to help my party win over modern Britain, will not change.

“I wish all the contenders the very best at this challenging time as they make the case to take our country forward.”

Naomi Smith, of the Best for Britain pro-EU campaign, said: “It’s sad to see the one reasonable candidate in this vile Tory leadership race have to drop out.

“With only Brexit advocates left in the race, it’s more important than ever that remain parties work together.

“Our petition, calling for those politicians to work together in the national interest, just smashed through 50,000 signatures - showing strength of feeling across the country for politicians to put their differences aside to resolve this crisis.”


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