Brexit: The race to Number 10 Downing Street, second ballot results

Wednesday, 19 Jun, 2019

With Mr Johnson appearing certain of a place in the final two, the contest has become a battle for the right to a spot alongside him in the ballot of 160,000 Tory members who will choose the next party leader and prime minister.

Johnson, the face of the official campaign to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, has promised to lead the United Kingdom out of the EU with or without a deal.

He has been adamant that leaving by the deadline on October 31 will be "very tough" - and with a new deal it is impossible. He says that candidates claiming they can take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without a deal are lying - parliament will not realistically allow them to do it.

Opponents of "no-deal" say it would cause economic chaos as Britain breaks up with its top trading partner.

In fact, a source in the camp of one of the candidates tonight suggests if a newbie to the spectacle were told that afterwards, they would "stare in utter disbelief".

The result will be announced around 6:00pm (1700 GMT). Mr Stewart questioned the entire premise of tax-cuts for Tory supporters, saying: "We do not need more tax cuts".

Barring a major upset, Johnson looks set to be one of the candidates party members will consider when they are mailed a ballot.

Former Brexit Minister Dominic Raab has been eliminated from the race to become the next leader of the Conservative party.

In Tuesday's vote, the lowest-placed contender will drop out, along with any who fail to get at least 33 votes.

"I, and almost 100 of my colleagues, would vote to prevent a no-deal Brexit without having to bring down a Conservative government".

The next item on the agenda for the remaining candidates is the BBC leadership debate in about an hour from now, so I'm signing off now to prepare for that.

The issue was raised by Abdullah, an imam from Bristol, who said he had seen firsthand the effects of Islamophobia and asked the candidates whether they agreed that "words have consequences".

Mr Stewart hopes that the "fresh" mandate of a new prime minister could persuade more Tories to back the deal.

Johnson, whose unconventional style has helped him shrug off a series of scandals in the past, has won over much of his party by arguing that only he can rescue it by delivering Brexit.

Rudd also described the idea of asking the Queen to suspend parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit, which has been touted by Dominic Raab, as "absolutely outrageous".

"We have already kicked the can down the road twice and I think the British people are getting thoroughly fed up".

International Development Secretary Mr Stewart, who managed just 19 votes last week, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who got 23, were locked in a fight to reach the threshold.

The front runner, Boris Johnson has come under fire from his rivals for giving few interviews and public appearances.