Friday 14 June 2019 11:38 am

Matt Hancock drops out of Conservative leadership race

Health secretary Matt Hancock has dropped out of the race to lead the Conservative Party and become the next Prime Minister.

Hancock, who made it through the first round of voting yesterday with 20 votes, did not say which of his colleagues he would now back for the top job.

He came sixth place in yesterday’s vote, which saw three MPs – Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey – knocked out of the competition after they failed to meet the threshold of 17 backers.

Boris Johnson topped the ballot with 114, followed by foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt with 42 and environment secretary Michael Gove with 31.

“The party clearly is looking for a candidate to deal with the here and now,” Hancock told the BBC.

“I very much put myself forward as the candidate focused on the future.

“And so I’ve decided to withdraw from the race and instead see how best I can advance those values within the party and the big and difficult tasks we’ve got ahead.”