Priti Patel Not Joining Conservative Party Leadership Contest

Home secretary decides against throwing her hat into the ring but has yet to endorse another candidate.
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Home secretary Priti Patel has decided not to join the Conservative Party leadership race.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the senior cabinet minister said she was “grateful” for the encouragement she had been given to stand.

But said she would “not be putting my name forward for the ballot of MPs”.

Patel, a leading Brexiteer who would have hoped to secure support from the right of the party, did not say who she would back instead.

“I will be listening to cases being put forward by the candidates standing for the leadership of the Party and trust the contest will be conducted in a good spirit that brings our Party together,” she said.

“As a lifelong and committed Conservative, I will always make the case for freedom, enterprise and opportunity and work with colleagues to deliver these values in government.”

The announcement came after a frenetic morning of campaign activity, with Rishi Sunak, Tom Tugendhat and Kemi Badenoch all launching their bids at the same time.

Sunak is seen as the early frontrunner, with the others battling to face off against him in the final round of two.

Candidates have until 10pm this evening to secure the backing of 20 MPs to make it onto the ballot.

Then, the first ballot of MPs will take place on Wednesday, with candidates failing to get 30 votes being eliminated, with a second vote expected on Thursday.

The process is then likely to continue into next week, with candidate with the lowest vote dropping out, until the list of candidates is whittled down to just two – who will go forward into a ballot of party members.

The winning of the contest will be announced on September 5 and is likely to become prime minister the following day.


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