Tuesday 4 June 2019 12:00 pm

James Cleverly withdraws from Tory leadership race

James Cleverly has pulled out of the race to become the next Tory leader, citing a lack of support among MPs.

The Brexit minister and former deputy party chairman announced he was running for the leadership at the end of last week.

In a statement, Cleverly said: “Last week I announced that I intended to run for the leadership of the Conservative party and as Prime Minister.

“I felt that we needed to deliver Brexit and then quickly move the conversation on to other important issues that face the country. I had hoped that the Conservative parliamentary party would support me to be the face and voice of that conversation.

“To do this I asked them to make a leap of faith, skip a generation and vote for a relatively new MP. It is clear that despite much support, particularly from our party’s grassroots, MPs weren’t comfortable with such a move and it has become clear that it is highly unlikely that I would progress to the final two candidates.

“For this reason I have withdrawn from the process of selecting a new leader and will not be submitting nomination papers.”