The Government has today lost its majority in the House of Commons following the defection of Phillip Lee, the MP for Bracknell, to the Liberal Democrats. Lee, who had been a member of the Conservative Party for 27 years, crossed the floor of the Chamber of the House of Commons during Boris Johnson’s statement on the G7.
Lee said in a letter to the Prime Minister:
“The Brexit process has helped to transform this once great party in to something more akin to a narrow faction, where an individual’s conservatism is measured by how recklessly one wishes to leave the European Union.”
Ruth Davidson, the Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, is expected to resign following the announcement of Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, that he wanted Parliament prorogued. John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, made a rare intervention into politics to say that the decision was a “constitutional outrage”.
The Guardian newspaper reported the expected resignation, but sources close to Ruth Davidson are suggesting that the decision was also made so that she could spend more time with her family.
Jane Lax, the treasurer of a Conservative Party association in Scotland, has been suspended from the party after she mocked a miscarriage which Nicola Sturgeon revealed she’d had in 2011. Sturgeon had raised her personal loss when she was talking about giving parents in the same position paid leave from their work.
The Conservative Party issued a statement condemning the behaviour of Lax, saying:
“These comments are unacceptable. Her membership will be suspended pending a disciplinary procedure.”
Boris Johnson has been confirmed as the new leader of the Conservative Party and the next Prime Minister. He will formally replace Theresa May tomorrow, on Wednesday 24 July 2019, when he visits Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen.
Boris Johnson beat Jeremy Hunt following a postal vote of the party’s members by 92,153 votes to 46,656.
The results of the first round of the Conservative Party leadership contest have been announced today. The winner in the first round was Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, with Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey all being eliminated.
Boris Johnson 114 votes – 36.4%
Jeremy Hunt 43 votes – 13.7%
Michael Gove 37 votes – 11.8%
Dominic Raab 27 votes 8.6%
Sajid Javid 23 votes 7.3%
Matt Hancock 20 votes 6.4%
Rory Stewart 19 votes 6.1%
Andrea Leadsom 11 votes 3.5% (Eliminated)
Mark Harper 10 votes 3.2% (Eliminated)
Esther McVey 9 votes 2.9% (Eliminated)
The backbench 1922 committee of the Conservative Party has announced that there will be ten candidates taking part in the party’s leadership contest. Each of the candidates has secured the support of eight MPs and the first round of the contest will be on 13 June 2019, with the final announcement expected to be announced in late July 2019.
The candidates are:
Environment Secretary Michael Gove
Health Secretary Matt Hancock
Former Chief Whip Mark Harper
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Home Secretary Sajid Javid
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
Former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart
Kit Malthouse has become the second Conservative MP to withdraw from his party’s leadership contest, following the withdrawal earlier in the day of James Cleverly.
Posting on Twitter, Malthouse wrote:
“After 20 years in front line politics as a councillor, Deputy Mayor, MP and Minister, I also wanted to lead a new generation of Conservatives stepping forward at a time of profound change in our country. But that experience has also made me a realist and the last few days have demonstrated that there is an appetite for this contest to be over quickly and for the nation to have a new leader in place as soon as possible.”
James Cleverly, the Conservative MP for Braintree, has become the first candidate for the party leadership to withdraw from the contest. Cleverly said that he no longer expected to get to the final two and his withdrawal means that there are twelve candidates left in the running.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC, Cleverly said that “unfortunately and with a heavy heart I’ve decided to withdraw from the race”. Cleverly was the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2018 until 2019 and he also served as the Member of the London Assembly for Bexley and Bromley from 2008 until 2016.
Mark Harper, the Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean, has become the twelfth candidate to put his name forwards for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
The current candidates are now:
James Cleverley, the Conservative MP for Braintree, has become the eleventh candidate to join the contest to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. The complete list of candidates is now: