Conservative leadership contest: Sajid Javid voted out
Home secretary Sajid Javid has been eliminated from the Conservative leadership contest.
Javid picked up 34 votes in the latest ballot of Conservative MPs, finishing last.
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt came third with 59, while environment secretary Michael Gove finished second with 61 votes.
Boris Johnson extended his lead as the frontrunner, picking up 157 backers – half the entire electorate.
Johnson, Gove and Hunt will now face each other another ballot of MPs on Thursday afternoon, with Conservative party members picking the next leader – and therefore Prime Minister – from the final two candidates.
The results of the fourth ballot saw Javid lose four votes compared to his performance in the vote held on Wednesday.
Gove will be the happiest of the contenders, as an increase in ten votes catapulted him into second place in the contest for the first time.
Hunt picked up five extra votes, but will be seen as losing momentum heading into the final ballot.
The foreign secretary’s campaign team moved quickly to appeal to the 34 MPs who had backed the now eliminated Javid, with a source saying: “Sajid Javid ran an excellent campaign that has demonstrated the depth and strength of the Conservative Party.
“Jeremy is the best candidate to take on Boris Johnson in the final two and give the Party a real choice.
“Boris and Michael are great candidates but we have seen their personal psychodrama before: it’s time to offer the country someone the EU will actually talk to. Jeremy is the candidate who can best unify the Party and deliver Brexit.”