Results of First Ballot in the Conservative Party Leadership Contest

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)

Mark Harper Becomes Latest Conservative to Stand for Leadership

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
Michael Gove
Matt Hancock
Mark Harper
Jeremy Hunt
Sajid Javid
Boris Johnson
Andrea Leadsom
Kit Malthouse
Esther McVey
Dominic Raab
Rory Stewart

Three More Candidates Join Conservative Leadership Contest

Three more candidates have joined the contest to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, bringing the current number of candidates to eight.

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Andrea Leadsom, the former Leader of the House of Commons, and Dominic Raab, the former Brexit Secretary, have declared their candidacies over the last day. The five already announced candidates were:

Rory Stewart – the Secretary of State for International Development

Jeremy Hunt – the Foreign Secretary

Matt Hancock – the Secretary of State for Health

Boris Johnson – the former Foreign Secretary

Esther McVey – the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Five Candidates Join Race to Become Next Conservative Leader

Five candidates have so far joined the Conservative Party leadership contest, following yesterday’s resignation announcement by Theresa May, the Prime Minister.

Although more candidates are expected to announce their intentions to stand, the current five who have confirmed their plans include:

Rory Stewart – the Secretary of State for International Development

Jeremy Hunt – the Foreign Secretary

Matt Hancock – the Secretary of State for Health

Boris Johnson – the former Foreign Secretary

Esther McVey – the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

UK Employment Rate Reaches Record High but Unemployment Rises

Figures released today from the Office for National Statistics have shown that the level of employment in the UK has reached a record high. The figures show that 402,000 people have moved into employment over the last year and the unemployment rate has remained at 4.3%. Unemployment has though risen for a second month running, increasing concerns of a slow-down in the employment market.

Esther McVey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

“Getting a job means securing an income for a family and the chance to build a better future. That’s why up and down the country we are doing all we can to help people into work. And from next month, we’ll be taking thousands more people out of paying tax and also increasing the National Living Wage, benefiting those on the lowest pay and making sure they keep more of what they earn. In fact by raising the National Living Wage we have ensured that the lowest earners have seen their wages grow by almost 7% above inflation since 2015”.

Margaret Greenwood, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

“Many people are struggling with low pay and insecure work and the rise in unemployment is further bad news. With eight million people in working households living in poverty and the cost of basic essentials remaining high, the Spring Statement was a missed opportunity for the Government to take the urgent action needed. The Government has also failed to close the employment gap faced by women, disabled people and BAME groups, who have too often borne the brunt of austerity cuts”.

Peter Schofield Appointed as the Next Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions

Peter Schofield has been appointed as the next Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), replacing Sir Robert Devereux who is retiring in late January 2018. Schofield is the current Finance Director General within the department, a role which he has held since July 2016.

Esther McVey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

“I look forward to welcoming Peter Schofield as DWP’s new Permanent Secretary and to working with him on ensuring we continue to deliver a welfare system that supports people when they need it, and helps them fulfil their potential – no matter who they are or where they come from”.

Schofield said in a statement:

“The DWP is a remarkable organisation – in scale, reach, ability to deliver change, and the motivation and pride of my 80,000 colleagues providing high quality support to over 22 million citizens. It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to lead DWP and support the new Secretary of State and her ministerial team, and to build on Robert’s outstanding leadership over the last 7 years. I can’t wait to start”.