Liam Fox has announced he will back foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt to replace Theresa May as prime minister.
The international trade secretary- a Brexiteer – said he would support Hunt who earlier this week said pursuing a no-deal Brexit would be “political suicide”.
Fox is the first cabinet member to publicly support Hunt, who one of the frontrunners in the campaign to replace May.
“In this contest I’ll be backing my friend Jeremy Hunt who is an impressive foreign secretary, an entrepreneur by background, where dealmaking is part of his DNA,” Fox told the BBC this morning.
“He understands that we have to message to Europe that we will leave if we cannot get an appropriate deal, but we’ll try to get a deal.”
Hunt said he was “very honoured” by Fox’s support and “looking forward to working with him to get a better Brexit deal”.
The former health secretary said yesterday that he would leave the EU without a deal with “a heavy heart”.
Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and environment secretary Michael Gove are also frontrunners.
Yesterday Johnson, who is the bookies’ favourite to win, officially launched his leadership campaign.
In a video he declared it was “time to deliver Brexit and unite our fantastic country”.