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Tory leadership race latest LIVE: Sunak formally declares as Johnson backers say ‘they have the numbers’


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ishi Sunak has formally declared his leadership bid as he warned the UK is facing a “profound economic crisis”.

He said on Sunday: “The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis.

“That’s why I am standing to be leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister. I want to fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country.”

Boris Johnson is yet to declear that he will stand but, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Business Secretary said the former Prime Minister will join the race, and that there is a “great deal” of support for him.

Telling the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “The people doing numbers for Boris’s campaign tell me they have the numbers.”

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The Prime Minister has secured other influential MPs such as Ben Wallace, Priti Patel, Nadine Dorries, and most recently, Nadhim Zahawi. Penny Mordaunt has also declared but has under 30 public nominations.

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Rishi Sunak announces he is standing to become prime minister

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Dominic Raab says no deal has been struck between Sunak and Johnson

Former cabinet minister Dominic Raab said he was not expecting a deal between Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, who he is backing.

Asked if the pair had done a deal during Saturday’s meeting, Mr Raab told BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “No, I don’t think there’s any issue around deals here and that’s not the right way to proceed.”

Pressed further, Mr Raab said: “What would that deal involve?”

He went on to highlight the “range” of support Mr Sunak has among Tory MPs, adding: “What they did have was a very good conversation about the need for unity.”

Mr Raab went on: “I’d love to see Boris Johnson come back to frontline politics, I’m speaking personally.

“But we have this major issue which led to him having to resign, which is ‘partygate’, and in a matter of days, not weeks, he’s going to see televised witness testimony, including his own, which is going to take him right back into that spiral.”

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Dominic Raab says a Sunak win will bring market stability

Dominic Raab has said Rishi Sunak will calm the markets and help bring interest rates down if he becomes prime minister.

Mr Raab told the BBC that Mr Sunak is the “right person to take us forward for both economic and political reasons”.

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Boris has a ‘great deal’ of support and will stand for leadership

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg says former Prime Minister Boris Johnson will “clearly” stand to be the next Tory leader, saying there’s a “great deal” of support for him.

Asked if Mr Johnson has secured support from more than 100 MPs, Rees-Mogg said “the people who are doing the numbers” for Johnson’s campaign say he does.

He told the BBC that Johnson has been “the greatest electoral asset” the Conservative Party has had in modern times.

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Penny Mordaunt denies she offered to back Boris

Penny Mordaunt has denied that she offered to back Boris Johnson in return for a job from him and insisted she is “in this to win it”.

Asked about reports suggesting such a deal, the Tory leadership candidate told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “It’s completely false.”

Pressed on whether she would back Mr Johnson or Rishi Sunak, Ms Mordaunt said: “I’m standing to be prime minister. I am not contemplating how the other camps are organising themselves.”

She refused to say whether she would be comfortable with a comeback by Mr Johnson, saying: “It’s not about him, it’s not about me, it’s about the public.”

Ms Mordaunt also said: “I’m in this to win it. I think it’s important for our party, we have a contest. I am very confident about our numbers.”

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Nadhim Zahawi backs Boris Johnson

Nadhim Zahawi said he is backing Boris Johnson to return as Conservative leader and prime minister.

“I’m backing Boris. He got the big calls right, whether it was ordering more vaccines ahead of more waves of Covid, arming Ukraine early against the advice of some, or stepping down for the sake of unity. But now, Britain needs him back. We need to unite to deliver on our manifesto,” he tweeted.

“When I was chancellor, I saw a preview of what Boris 2.0 would look like. He was contrite & honest about his mistakes. He’d learned from those mistakes how he could run No10 & the country better.

“With a unified team behind him, he is the one to lead us to victory & prosperity.”

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Penny Mordaunt says she was ‘halfway house’ between Truss and Sunak

Penny Mordaunt has said she was a “halfway house” between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak in the last contest and that she could unite the party.

The Tory leadership candidate told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I was a halfway house between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak and I deeply regret that the debate now is about ‘are you for stability or low taxes’.

“That’s not the right construct. There are two sides of the same coin. You have to have stability in order to deliver low tax and you have to have low taxes in order to grow the economy and create that stability.

“That is what I am standing for. That is why I think I’m best placed to unite our party”

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Penny Mordaunt remains hopeful despite lack of public support

Penny Mordaunt has said she remains “confident” despite lagging behind in the leadership contest.

Ms Mordaunt is trailing behind Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak and has fewer than 30 public backers.

Asked about her lack of support, she replied: “I would remind you in the last contest I got 105. We’re taking support from other camps. Damian Green has joined my side from Rishi.”

“I am very confident about the progress we’re making and I’m in this to win it.”

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Steve Baker says Sunak will follow through on Northern Ireland Protocol

Steve Baker said Rishi Sunak will follow through on the current Northern Ireland Protocol policy if he becomes prime minister.

Mr Baker has come out in support of Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership race.

“He will follow through on the current policy. Again, no one should be in doubt about this,” Mr Baker told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday.

He said he and Simon Hoare are in agreement that the “current policy needs to be carried forward”.

“The EU, and I hope they’ll hear me, the EU should understand there’s not going to be a change of policy,” he added.

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Sir Iain Duncan Smith undecided on leadership contest

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has said he has not made up his mind in the Tory leadership race.

Asked if he had decided who he is backing, he said: “No…

“The problem is right now we have to decide whether or not we’re going to make a go of this last two years … or not. And therefore, if we’re going to pick somebody now we have to pick somebody that we will get behind and that’s it.”

He also said: “I desperately want my party to settle down.”

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