Rory Stewart has been eliminated from the race to become the leader of the Conservative Party following the fourth round of voting.
The votes cast were:
Boris Johnson – 143 votes
Jeremy Hunt – 54 votes
Michael Gove – 51 votes
Sajid Javid – 38 votes
Rory Stewart – 27 votes
The fourth, and if necessary the fifth, round of voting will take place on Thursday 20 June, with the top two candidates moving forward to a vote of party members.
Posting on Twitter, Rory Stewart said:
“I am so moved & inspired by the support I have received over the last few weeks – it has given me a new faith in politics, a new belief in our country. I didn’t get enough MPs to believe today – but they will 🙂 I remain deeply committed to you and to this country. #RoryWalksOn”
Dominic Raab has been knocked out following the second round of voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest. Boris Johnson secured the most votes, but Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Rory Stewart and Sajid Javid have all made it through to the next round.
David Lidington, the de facto Deputy Prime Minister, has unexpectedly given his support to Rory Stewart in the Conservative leadership contest. The move is expected to give a boost to Stewart’s campaign in the day before the second round of voting starts amongst MPs. Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, won the first round by a large margin and is still the favourite to win the contest.
Dominic Raab, one of the candidates for the Conservative leadership, has said that he would shut down Parliament if it opposed his Brexit plans. The move was fiercely criticised by John Bercow, the current Speaker of the House of Commons, and Betty Boothroyd, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, as well as other senior Conservatives.
John Bercow, the current Speaker, rejected any move to prevent the House of Commons from stating its will on any Brexit deal saying:
“Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process.”
“I have a message for this ambitious young man: you don’t treat our Parliament, our democracy or our people that way. If you even try to impose your No Deal Brexit on us by cancelling Parliamentary proceedings, you won’t survive as Prime Minister for five minutes, you will be booted out of office and you are not worthy of your seat in Parliament which should be reserved for those who deserve the title of democrats.”
Other candidates criticised Raab’s plan, with Matt Hancock saying that it would “undermine parliamentary democracy and risk a general election” and Rory Stewart posted on Twitter:
“We live in a parliamentary democracy. You can try to lock the gates of parliament. But to do so for this purpose would be unlawful. This plan is unlawful, undemocratic, and unachievable. And the idea itself is profoundly offensive to our liberty constitution and traditions.”
Raab’s threat was also criticised by Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who said that “I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament. We are not Stuart kings.”
Mel Stride, the Leader of the House of Commons, also rejected Raab’s suggestion, saying that “I do think Her Majesty should be kept out of the politics of our Parliament.”
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
Rory Stewart, the Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has said that he is concerned about the current political situation in Kenya. Along with the United States and other countries, the UK has concerns that the forthcoming Presidential elections will not be held in a peaceful and democratic manner.
In a statement, the Minister said:
“The UK is concerned by the increasingly unstable political situation in Kenya in advance of the new presidential election on 26 October. An open, peaceful and credible poll is the only constitutional way Kenyans can choose their next President. Along with international partners, the UK is continuing to provide support to Kenya’s institutions, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). We welcome steps the IEBC is taking to rectify flaws in the August election, as well as recent efforts by the IEBC and political parties to engage in dialogue.
Neither threats to boycott the election nor changes to the electoral legislation at this stage are helpful. Both sides need to work with the IEBC cooperatively and in a spirit of dialogue as it sets out arrangements for the new elections.
We encourage a peaceful and non-violent election period. Security services should use the utmost restraint in handling demonstrations, and any response must be proportionate and measured. We urge independent investigations into all allegations of abuse of force.
This election is an important moment for Kenyan and African democracy. We stand together with all Kenyans at this critical time”.
Rory Stewart, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, has confirmed that the Government is to continue funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit until at least 2020.
The Minister’s statement comes after rumours started that the unit, which helps co-ordinate wildlife related crime investigations, would be abolished as part of Government funding cuts.
Stewart said in the House of Commons:
“Following the Spending Review 2015, Defra and Home Office Ministers have been considering the level of government funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2016.
In recognition of the important contribution the Unit makes to tackling wildlife crime, both at home and abroad, I can confirm that Defra and Home Office Ministers have agreed that their respective departments will each provide the Unit with funding of £136,000 a year for the next four financial years. This will give the Unit significant financial stability and enable their vital work to continue until at least 2020. Those contributions will be in addition to the funding central Government provides to police forces in England and Wales to tackle all types of crime (including wildlife crime).
In addition, Defra will provide the Unit with up to £29,000 a year over the next four years for specific work to tackle wildlife crime conducted online, as a developing area of global criminal activity”.
The League Against Cruel Sports said in a statement:
“Wildlife crime should never be perceived as second class or unimportant, so it’s very good news that the NWCU has been saved, at least for now. The links between cruelty to animals and abuse of people have been made regularly, so we ignore people committing wildlife crime at our peril.
Kudos to Defra and the Home Office for recognising the importance of the NWCU, and we hope the government will back this up by increasing sentencing for those convicted of animal cruelty. If they’re going to invest in police officers to catch these criminals, it makes sense to ensure the punishment fits the crime”.