Suella Braverman has crashed out of the Conservative leadership race as she gained fewest votes in the second ballot of Tory MPs.
It leaves five candidates in the contest to replace Boris Johnson: Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt, Tom Tugendhat, and Kemi Badenoch.
Like Attorney General Braverman, Mr Tugendhat saw his vote drop but he managed to scrape through to the next stage.
Mr Sunak got 101 votes, Ms Mordaunt 83, Ms Truss 64, Ms Badenoch 49 and Mr Tugendhat 32.
Asked who she is backing in the contest, Ms Braverman told Sky News: “I’m not going to give an answer right now. I’m considering all of the options.”
However sources close to the Attorney General were later reported to have said that Ms Braverman will come out in support for Ms Truss.
Earlier Ms Truss, speaking in central London, used her campaign launch to stress her credentials to become prime minister, pledging that she would be ready from “day one”.
07:17 , Josh Salisbury
Good morning and welcome to the Standard’s live blog where we will be covering all the latest developments in the Conservative Party leadership race.
Another ballot will be held Thursday, with the field of six remaining contestants expected to whittled down further.
Mordaunt: Defence will be ‘first duty’ of Government if I win
07:19 , Josh Salisbury
Leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt has vowed to make defence the "first duty" of government should she emerge victorious.
The trade minister pulled ahead of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss after the first round of voting by Tory MPs, despite being seen as a relative outlier before the race began.
Writing for the Daily Mail, Ms Mordaunt promised to honour the UK’s Nato commitment of spending 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030, and said Britain needs to "hold fast" to the nation’s shared values of "strength, fairness and decency, (and) a willingness to stand up for what is right".
She wrote: “The defence of the realm is the first duty of any government.” She added that she would hold to the UK’s position on Ukraine.
Truss ally: Backers of Braverman and Badenoch should get behind Foreign Secretary
07:28 , Josh Salisbury
One of Liz Truss’ closest allies made a direct appeal on Thursday to MPs backing Rightwingers Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch to switch their allegiances to the Foreign Secretary, writes the Standard’s political editor, Nicholas Cecil.
Cabinet colleague Therese Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, told Sky News: “The reason why I think supporters of Suella and Kemi should come and join Liz is because a lot of their policies are in a very similar direction, about having a free economy, about making sure that we stand up for the United Kingdom. and be proud for our country and indeed having that more focus on aspects of delivery, but a different approach slightly on how we tackle economic issues.”
Ms Truss won the support of 50 MPs in the first round of voting on Wednesday, Ms Badenoch 40, and Ms Braverman 32, with growing pressure for parliamentarians on the Right of the Tory party to unite behind one candidate.
What are scores of leadership contestants so far?
07:38 , Josh Salisbury
The second round of voting by Tory MPs will take place between 11.30am and 1.30pm, with a result announced at 3pm.
Here’s a reminder of the votes each contestant got in Wednesday’s round of voting, with some receiving more than the number of MPs who have publicly backed them:
Rishi Sunak - 88 votes
Penny Mordaunt - 67 votes
Liz Truss - 50 votes
Kemi Badenoch - 40 votes
Tom Tugendhat - 37 votes
Suella Braverman - 32 votes
Both Nadhim Zahawi and Jeremy Hunt were eliminated from the contest after failing to secure enough MPs’ votes, getting 25 and 18 votes respectively.
Badenoch: Tax cuts if I’m PM, but I won’t be ‘reckless’ about it
08:00 , Josh Salisbury
Kemi Badenoch has said she would not commit to “reckless” tax cuts from day one if successful, but would reduce personal and corporation taxes.
In an interview with the Times, she said: “I am instinctively a tax cutter, but I am not a reckless one,” she says. “What I’m not committing to is doing something on day one.
“I worry, for instance, about U-turns. Businesses have made decisions based on current tax policy, public sector has made decisions based on national insurance tax rises and so on. We need to look at the implications of doing something different.”
She told the paper that she had “a lot of respect” for fellow contender and former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, but argued that Government had often avoided making difficult decisions itself.
Ms Badenoch also suggested that the Bank of England could come under greater ministerial oversight for failing to raise interest rates sooner.
“I look at the target-setting that the Bank of England had,” she said. “I wonder whether our attitude to them missing targets might have meant that they were more complacent than they could have been.”
Rishi ally confident of former Chancellor’s prospects
08:08 , Josh Salisbury
Rishi Sunak’s ally Gillian Keegan pointed out that the former chancellor had received the backing of a quarter of the Tory Party’s MPs in the first round of voting for a new leader.
However, she acknowledged that Penny Mordaunt had also performed well.
In response to a suggestion that Mr Sunak had not done as well as he hoped, health minister Ms Keegan told Sky News: “A quarter of the parliamentary party when you’ve got eight candidates? That’s pretty good I think - my maths says that’s pretty good.”
She added: “I’m sure Penny is really pleased with her result” but “Rishi has got a very strong following” because “serious times need serious people”.
Ms Keegan dismissed a YouGov poll suggesting Ms Mordaunt would comfortably beat Mr Sunak if the two went head-to-head in the final stage of the contest, saying polls needed to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Sunak denies wealth means he cannot understand plight of struggling households
08:35 , Josh Salisbury
In an interview with Radio 4’s Today programme, Rishi Sunak has denied that he is too “slick and too rich” to be PM at a time when people are struggling with their finances.
He said: “I don’t judge people by their bank accounts, I judge them by their character, and I think they can judge me by my actions over the past couple of years.
“Whenever I’ve needed to step in to support people I have, and furlough is a fantastic example of that.
“But what I would say as a Conservative is that I believe in hard work and aspiration, that’s my story, and if I’m Prime Minister I’ll be making the case for that with vigour.”
Pressed on the accusation by critics that he does not understand what it is like to be in poverty, Mr Sunak said: “I think when the pandemic hit, I understood full well the impact it could have on millions of people up and down the country.”
Sunak: I’d ‘like to stay’ in UK if I failed in PM bid
08:39 , Josh Salisbury
Tory leadership frontrunner Rishi Sunak said “of course I would like to stay” in the UK if he fails in his bid to become prime minister.
Mr Sunak, who previously held a US Green Card including for some time while he was chancellor, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I was living and working and studying in America at the time but after that I returned to the United Kingdom and decided to try and serve my country as an MP and then in Government and now, hopefully, if I’m fortunate enough, as prime minister.
“That’s because I believe I’m the best person to lead us through the challenges we face, do that in an honest and responsible way.
“But also I know I’ve got the energy, the experience and the vision to grow our economy, grasp the opportunities I see ahead of us.”
Sunak defends Williamson involvement in his campaign
08:46 , Josh Salisbury
Rishi Sunak has also defended the involvement of former chief whip Sir Gavin Williamson in his leadership campaign.
Rival camps have suggested that Sir Gavin has been involved in "dirty tricks" to ensure Mr Sunak faces a candidate he would be more likely to defeat in the final run-off.
Mr Sunak told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Mel Stride is running the parliamentary aspect of his campaign, not Sir Gavin.
Asked what Sir Gavin's role is, Mr Sunak said: "Like all the Members of Parliament who are on my team, they are talking to colleagues and making the case for my candidacy because they believe that I am the best person to beat Keir Starmer and the Labour Party and I'm really grateful for all their support."
Pressed also multiple times on when exactly he decided he could no longer serve under Boris Johnson, Mr Sunak said he had a “lot of respect” for him.
“It was when I resigned. It wasn’t an easy decision, it wasn’t a decision I took lightly,” he said.
Sunak: Number one economic priority is inflation
08:48 , Josh Salisbury
Mr Sunak also defended his economic plan, which would not involve immediate tax cuts like those promised by rivals.
The former chancellor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think our number one economic priority is to tackle inflation and not make it worse. Inflation is the enemy, it makes everybody poorer, and if we don't act to tackle inflation now it will cost families more in the long run, especially with mortgages.
"I will get taxes down in this Parliament, but I'm going to do so responsibly.
"Because I don't cut taxes to win elections, I win elections to cut taxes, and I'm convinced that I'm the best person to beat Keir Starmer and the Labour Party at the next election."
Sunak pledges Rwanda flights would continue if he is PM
08:54 , Josh Salisbury
Rishi Sunak has defended the controversial Rwanda flights, saying they would continue under his premiership if elected.
Under the scheme, some asylum seekers would be taken on a one-way ticket to Rwanda to claim asylum there instead.
Mr Sunak told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it’s absolutely critical that we have control of our borders and I say that as the child and grandchild of immigrants.
“This country has a proud history of welcoming people but it’s also vital that we’re in control of who’s coming here, and sadly there is an illegal set of criminal gangs who are causing people to die in pursuit of coming here.
“We must stop that, and the policy we’ve put in place gives us the ability to do so. We’ve always known it would be difficult and people would throw challenges in our way, but I’m determined to make sure that that policy works.”
Former Brexit minister launches scathing attack on Penny Mordaunt
09:07 , Josh Salisbury
Former Brexit minister Lord Frost has launched a scathing attack on Tory leadership contender Penny Mordaunt, saying she was not up to the job when she was his deputy in talks with the EU.
Speaking on TalkTV, Lord Frost said he would have “grave reservations” if she became PM, alleging she lacked a grasp of the detail, and was unwilling to deliver tough messages to Brussels as his deputy.
He said he had to ask Boris Johnson to replace her as a result.
"I am quite surprised at where she is in this leadership race. She was my deputy - notionally, more than really - in the Brexit talks last year," he said.
"I felt she did not master the detail that was necessary in the negotiations last year. She wouldn't always deliver tough messages to the European Union when that was necessary.
"She wasn't fully accountable, she wasn't always visible. Sometimes I didn't even know where she was.”
Truss campaign picks up on scathing criticism of Penny Mordaunt
09:42 , Josh Salisbury
Those backing Liz Truss have seized on remarks by Lord Frost in which he sharply criticised the current second in the race, Penny Mordaunt.
The former Brexit minister said he would have “grave reservations” about Ms Mordaunt, based on what he alleged was poor peformance when she was his deputy.
He said: “Anybody can be photo'd in a video with I Vow To Thee My Country, but it is what you do in practice. Are you able to be tough, are you able to lead, are you able to take responsibility?
"From the basis of what I saw, I'm afraid I would have grave reservations about that."
A social media link to a clip of his interview was re-tweeted by Treasury Chief Secretary Simon Clarke - who is backing Liz Truss for leader.
Mr Clarke said: "Lord Frost's warning is a really serious one. Conservatives - and, far more importantly, our country - need a leader who is tested and ready."
Truss begins launching leadership bid
10:09 , Josh Salisbury
Liz Truss has begun launching her campaign to be leader, saying she is ready to prime minister “from day one”.
Speaking to supporters, she said: “Now is the time to be bold. We cannot have business as usual economic management which has delivered low growth for decades.
“I will campaign as a Conservative and I will govern as Conservative”.
Truss: I’ve proven I can deliver
10:17 , Josh Salisbury
Truss tells supporters that she stands up to vested interests in getting things done.
“I don’t give into Whitehall. I don’t give in to vested interested,” she said. “And I don’t give into the naysayers.
“I’ve proved time and time again that I can deliver even when it’s difficult.”
Truss: Delivery, delivery, delivery will win us next election
10:23 , Josh Salisbury
Truss tells supporters she will focus on “delivery, delivery, delivery” to get the economy going and win the next election in what she billed as building an “aspiration nation”.
“I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done. And that my friends, is why we have to level with the British public. That our economy will not back on track overnight. Times are going to be tough,” she said.
“But I know I can get us on an upward trajectory by 2024.
“We can get there by delivering our promises, ensuring that spades are in the ground, people are in jobs, and money is being generated in local areas right across our country.
“I know it can be delivered by working relentlessly together as a team and focussing on delivery, delivery, delivery. That’s how we can turn things around and that’s how the Conservatives can win the next election”.
Truss: I’m loyal to Boris Johnson
10:33 , Josh Salisbury
Liz Truss said she is a “loyal person” when asked about her backing of Boris Johnson.
Responding to a question on why she did not resign from his government, Ms Truss said: “I’m a loyal person.
“I’m loyal to Boris Johnson, I supported our Prime Minister’s aspirations and I want to deliver the promise of the 2019 manifesto.
What we need to do now is deliver, deliver, deliver, and I’m the person in this race with the record of delivery. I’ve taken the tough decisions at the foreign office, at the trade department.
“I’ve got a fantastic team of people in my campaign team and more broadly across the party, and I want to go in from day 1 in Downing Street and make sure we deliver on the promises we set out in 2019”.
Truss says she was opposed to tax hike
10:37 , Josh Salisbury
Liz Truss said she was opposed to National Insurance tax rises introduced when leadership rival Rishi Sunak was Chancellor.
She said: “I was a Cabinet minister who spoke out against it at the time.
“But I’m a loyalist, I believe in collective responsibility. But the prime minister has stood down, I think it’s right that I’m honest about my views on the economy.”
Asked whether she was worried about the “march of Mordaunt,” - in reference to Penny Mordaunt, the current second-runner in the contest - Ms Truss did not directly answer, instead stressing the wide array of talent the leadership contest is displaying.
Truss says she is committed to ‘unleashing’ Brexit opportunities
10:43 , Josh Salisbury
Liz Truss has pushed back at suggestions that her remain support in the 2016 means that Brexit supporting Conservatives should swing behind Penny Mordaunt instead.
“I have done so much to deliver on the promises of Brexit and the opportunities of Brexit. I’ve delivered dozens of trade deals, I’ve delivered the Northern Ireland protocol bill to fix the issues we have in Northern Ireland.
“And as Prime Minister, I am committed to unleashing the full opportunities of Brexit, the ability to do things differently ... to really get our economy going”.
Truss: Higher defence spending and Rwanda flights would continue if I am PM
10:51 , Josh Salisbury
Liz Truss has said that defence spending should be 3 per cent of GDP by the end of decade, and said she would continue to back the Government’s policy of sending some asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Responding to questions, Ms Truss also said she would not make “disparaging comments” about other candidates when asked if rival Penny Mordaunt is up to the job.
“I haven’t worked in the same department as Penny Mordaunt, and I certainly won’t be making any disparaging comments about any of my fellow candidates.
“I think the Conservative race shows what a broad range we have in our party”.
It comes after the former Brexit minister Lord Frost claimed that Ms Mordaunt was poor in her role as his deputy.
Tugendhat refuses to withdraw from contest
10:55 , Josh Salisbury
Tom Tugendhat said he would not withdraw from the Tory leadership race despite coming fifth in the first round of voting.
“I’m still in this fight,” he told reporters in Westminster.
He said picking up 37 votes as a backbencher showed there was an appetite for a “clean start”, and said he was “untainted by the last two years” as he had not held office during Mr Johnson’s time as PM.
Mr Tugendhat, who is Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, recieved 37 votes in Wednesday’s ballot.
Tugendhat says he won’t quit because ‘I offered to serve'
11:15 , Josh Salisbury
Tory leadership hopeful Tom Tugendhat said "I feel like a prom queen" because of the way he was being wooed by rival candidates.
Asked why he was staying in the race, the MP said: "Where will this go? I don't know, I can't tell you.
"But I can tell you that a lot of people - a lot of people - are looking at the options before them today and thinking differently about the votes they made yesterday and that's not surprising."
At a press conference in Westminster he added: "I offered to serve, and that's what I'll do, and it's up to others to decide whether or not they they wish to have me.
"That's, I'm afraid, how democracy works. But I don't quit."
He was speaking ahead of the second ballot voting beginning at 11.30. Mr Tugendhat recieved 37 votes in yesterday’s first ballot.
All candidates ‘have to accept criticism’, says Tugendhat
11:19 , Josh Salisbury
Tory leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat also told reporters all candidates had to be prepared for criticism, following Lord Frost's broadside against Penny Mordaunt.
Lord Frost had earlier Thursday launched an attack on Penny Mordaunt’s record when she was his deputy, saying he believed she was not proficient at her job.
Mr Tugendhat told reporters in Westminster: "It's not always easy but I think it's fair because if you are running for an office like this it is fair that those who know you express views.
“Some of them are going to be nice, some of them less so.
“This is a really short interview round for a hell of a big job."
Voting opens in second round of Tory leadership ballot
11:36 , Josh Salisbury
Voting has now opened in the second round of the Conservative leadership ballot.
Tory MPs are deciding on who of the remaining six candidates - Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, and Suella Braverman - should go forward onto the next stage of voting.
All candidates will need at least 30 endorsements to continue onto the ballot.
If all candidates reach this threshold, the candidate with the lowest number of endorsements will be eliminated.
Voting is open until 1.30pm, and the result is expected to be announced by 3pm.
Three more MPs back Truss after campaign launch
11:56 , Josh Salisbury
Three more MPs have endorsed Liz Truss after her campaign launch.
James Heappey, a defence minister, Tom Pursglove, a Home Office minister, and Edward Argar, a former health minister, are now publicly backing Truss.
Mr Heappey told Sky News: “We’ve seen what it takes to deliver and we know Liz can take those decisions”.
Grant Shapps: Rishi Sunak can win the next election
12:24 , Bill Mcloughlin
Former leadership contender, Grant Shapps, has pledged his support for Rishi Sunak, claiming that he has the “experience to rise to the huge challenges” the UK faces.
Rishi was right to resign, says MP
12:37 , Bill Mcloughlin
Richard Holden, a supporter of Rishi Sunak, has said the Chancellor did the right thing to resign and did it honourably.
He told Sky News: “He was very honourable about it because he stabbed him in the front.
“I’ve been loyal to the prime minister all the way through, and I think Rishi Sunak has done everything he possibly can to do that as well.
“I think in the end, though, he’s made an honourable move and I back him now.”
MPs urge Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch to abandon leadership bids
12:45 , Bill Mcloughlin
Allies of Liz Truss have urged Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch to abandon their leadership bids to help boost support for the Foreign Secretary.
A senior Truss supporter said there was a need to "unite the right".
Backers of Ms Braverman and Ms Badenoch should "recognise the reality of the situation", a source told the Press Association.
Penny Mordaunt allies comment on Lord Frost criticism
12:57 , Josh Salisbury
Allies of Penny Mordaunt said she had “nothing but respect” for Lord Frost despite his scathing attack on her.
A source in the Penny Mordaunt campaign said: “Penny has nothing but respect for Lord Frost.
“He did a huge amount to assist our negotiations until he resigned from Government.
“Penny will always fight for Brexit and always has.”
Tugendhat campaign claims they have enough votes to stay in contest
13:36 , Josh Salisbury
A source in Tom Tugendhat’s campaign said they believed he had enough votes to stay in the contest as voting closes.
The source was confident there was enough support to get a “one nation” Tory voice through to the next round and the TV debates.
Mr Tugendhat expects to pick up some votes that had gone to Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi in the previous round, the source added.
Voting closes in Tory leadership second ballot
13:40 , Josh Salisbury
Voting has now closed in the second ballot of the Tory leadership contest.
The result is expected to be announced at 3pm. All candidates will need at least 30 endorsements to continue onto the ballot.
If all six candidates - Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, and Suella Braverman - get more than 30 votes, then the candidate with the lowest number of endorsements will be eliminated.
Truss claim about 1980s education in Leeds ‘shameful’, say city leaders
14:28 , Bill Mcloughlin
Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss’s comments that children she went to school with were let down by low expectations and poor educational standards have been branded “shameful” by political leaders in the city where she was educated.
The Foreign Secretary made the references to her comprehensive state schooling in Leeds as she launched her leadership campaign on Thursday.
Ms Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, said: “I didn’t come from a traditional conservative background. I grew up in Paisley, and I went to a comprehensive school in Leeds.
“Many of the children I was at school with were let down by low expectations, poor educational standards and a lack of opportunity. Too much talent went to waste.”
Ms Truss went to Roundhay School in the 1980s and 1990s - a school which has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted since 2013.
Labour councillor and Leeds City Council leader James Lewis said on Twitter: “Like Liz Truss, I went to Leeds Council schools in the Thatcher and Major years and the truth is it was Conservative government underfunding of schools for 18 years that really let kids down.”
And Fabian Hamilton, the Labour MP representing Leeds North East, said: “Once again, Liz Truss has shown she knows little about North East Leeds.
“First, she wrongly suggested that Roundhay was a red wall seat and now she has criticised our hard-working teachers and school staff in Leeds.
“Roundhay School has been an excellent educational institution for decades and its staff and students are real assets to our community. It’s shameful that Liz Truss has decided to attack them today.”
James Heappey backs Liz Truss
15:02 , Bill Mcloughlin
The minister for the Armed Forces has announced that he will be supporting Liz Truss to become the next Prime Minister.
Suella Braverman eliminated from leadership contest
15:08 , Bill Mcloughlin
Suella Braverman has been eliminated from the Tory leadership race following the results of the second ballot.
Keir Starmer denies being given dossiers on leadership contenders
15:30 , Bill Mcloughlin
A report in the Sunday Times said at least two rival leadership campaign teams have passed the Labour Party a digital dossier containing a series of lurid allegations about their potential opponents.
During a visit to Berlin on Thursday, the Labour leader said he had not seen any such dossiers.
He said: “No, I haven’t. But looking at the infighting that was going on in the Tory party, I don’t think they need any encouragement from anybody else. They’re tearing each other apart on a daily basis. They’re in complete disarray, they’re totally dysfunctional.
“Millions of people across the country are struggling to pay their bills. They’re watching this travelling circus of fighting going on in the Tory party with a Government that is not functional at all, and so, as I say, I don’t think the Conservatives need any help from anybody else in the fights that they are having about the soul of their party.”
Sir Keir Starmer has denied seeing dossiers about Tory leadership contenders.
When will a new Tory leader be chosen?
15:40 , Bill Mcloughlin
The Conservative Party has begun to process of selecting a new leader following Boris Johnson’s dramatic resignation.
But how exactly does the contest work?
Here are the key dates and stages in the race to Number 10.
Read our story here.
David Davis criticises briefing wars
16:29 , Bill Mcloughlin
Asked about Lord Frost and Simon Clarke’s criticism by Sky News, the former Cabinet minister said: “I wouldn’t describe it as friendly fire.
“My comment when I saw it earlier was it’s absolutely clockwork - you get to the point that somebody gets ahead and looks to be the real challenger, and then the black op starts, the incoming fire starts.”
Senior Tory MP David Davis criticised the “black ops” attacks being targeted at Penny Mordaunt, the party leadership candidate he is backing.
Tom Tugendhat: I’ve never turned down a challenge because the odds were against me
16:34 , Elly Blake
Tom Tugendhat has confirmed he would attend all the scheduled TV debates, saying “I’ve never turned down a challenge because the odds were against me”.
Mr Tugendhat received 32 votes in the second ballot on Thursday, five less than he received yesterday.
In a tweet he said: “I have never turned down a challenge because the odds were against me.
“I don’t plan to start now.”
Separately he confirmed that he will attending all three televised debates.
“Candidates and our ideas should be scrutinised. I look forward to the debates and the contest ahead,” he said.
Kemi Badenoch: Now is time for change
16:44 , Elly Blake
Tory leadership hopeful Kemi Badenoch has thanked colleagues for their support after making it into the next round of the competition.
“I am delighted that a growing number of my colleagues have faith in my vision for a return to honest politics and conservative principles. Thank you for your support,” she tweeted.
“Now is the time for change and I am looking forward to continuing to make that case in the TV debates.”
In case you missed it: The results in full
16:57 , Elly Blake
The results of the second ballot for the next Conservative Party leader were announced at 3pm by the chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.
Suella Braverman was eliminated from the leadership contest for receiving the fewest votes, while Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss lead the race.
The results in full
Kemi Badenoch - 49 votes
Suella Braverman - 27 votes
Penny Mordaunt - 83 votes
Rishi Sunak - 101 votes
Liz Truss - 64 votes
Tom Tugendhat - 32 votes
Suella Braverman ‘considering’ who to back after being dumped from race
17:14 , Elly Blake
Suella Braverman declined to say who she would back in the Tory leadership contest after she was eliminated from the race – but chose to criticise Penny Mordaunt.
The Attorney General told Sky News: “I’m going to have to disappoint you, I’m not going to give an answer right now. I’m considering all of the options.”
She indicated she would back the candidate who will “stop illegal migration across the Channel”, and deliver “Brexit opportunities”, a “tough line on identity politics” and tax cuts.
Asked about criticisms of Ms Mordaunt, Ms Braverman said: “Penny is a very good politician, I disagree with Penny on some key issues, in relation to one specific matter, i.e. the maternity Bill that was passed for my benefit when I had my baby last year.
“I do have to say that Hansard and the record shows that Penny Mordaunt as the Bill minister, the minister responsible for passing that legislation, did oppose and did resist the inclusion of the word woman and the word mother and did only concede after unsustainable pressure from the House of Lords.
“I was quite disappointed by the way in which it was handled and the responsible minister I’m afraid didn’t stand up for women and didn’t actually reflect the views of a lot of our party on wanting women to be authentically represented on the face of the Bill and in legislation.”
Suella Braverman ‘disagrees’ with Penny Mordaunt on some trans rights issues
17:27 , Elly Blake
Suella Braverman has added to her criticism of Penny Mordaunt on trans rights issues and on whether she is an “authentic Brexiteer”.
The Attorney General insisted she has “personal friendships with all of the candidates” but told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “They all have their pros and cons, I’m going to have to weigh everything up – ultimately I was the only authentic Brexiteer, the party has turned me down, I’m going to have to find someone who comes close to what my policy platform was.”
Told that Ms Mordaunt long supported Brexit, Ms Braverman said: “No, I disagree because I was the only candidate who actually took a stance on Theresa May’s deal.”
Ms Braverman added: “My perception of Penny is she takes a different view to me when it comes to gender ideology and the position of trans, for example, I think she said a trans women is woman, I disagree with that.”
Kemi Badenoch thanks supporters after she wins through again
18:07 , John Dunne
Tory leadership contender Kemi Badenoch has thanked her supporters after making it into the next round of the battle to be tory leader.
She said: “I am delighted that a growing number of my colleagues have faith in my vision for a return to honest politics and conservative principles. Thank you for your support.”
“Now is the time for change and I am looking forward to continuing to make that case in the TV debates.”
Plans to tackle gambling industry ‘put on hold’ due to tory leadership contest
18:54 , John Dunne
A government white paper setting out plans to tackle problems in the gambling industry has been stalled due to the Conservative leadership election.
Despite the plans being ready to publish they will not go ahead while Boris Johnson is only in post as an effective caretaker prime minister. The government indicated that it was still committed to the plans but they would not be taken forward until after the summer recess.
Tom Tugendhat suggests he would scrap policy of privatising C4
19:50 , Elly Blake
Senior Tory Tom Tugendhat suggested he would scrap the policy of privatising Channel 4 if he won the leadership contest.
He told LBC radio: “I don’t think it’s a good idea, there are many other priorities.”
Mr Tugendhat also said he would not scrap the BBC licence fee.
Suella Braverman to back Liz Truss, it is understood
19:59 , Elly Blake
Suella Braverman will come out in support for Liz Truss after failing to make the next stage in the race to replace Boris Johnson, sources close to the Attorney General told the PA news agency.
Following the news, leadership hopeful Kemi Badenoch said she was “disappointed”.
Ms Badenoch told LBC: “I am disappointed. Suella and I are friends, I’m friends with Tom Tugendhat as well, Rishi and Liz were my senior ministers, so it’s all very close to home.
“We’re all friends, so every time someone supports one person there’s another person that’s been let down. But I’m in it to win it.
“I know people want to support the person that they think is most likely to give them a job, or who has been there the longest, that’s the easy thing to do, the tough thing to do is to take a risk and try something different.”
Robert Buckland backs Rishi Sunak as ‘best person to lead this country'
20:22 , Elly Blake
Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland has come out in support of Rishi Sunak for the next Tory leader.
Mr Buckland told TalkTV: “I have decided that in light of the particular challenges that this is facing – the economic challenges – that the best person to lead this country is Rishi Sunak.”
Steve Baker now backing Liz Truss after Suella Braverman eliminated
21:19 , Elly Blake
Steve Baker, who had been backing Suella Braverman until she failed in her bid to be Tory leader, will also be now supporting Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
Mr Baker said: “Suella has my complete loyalty. What she has decided, I will support.”
That’s it folks
21:29 , Elly Blake
That’s the end of our live coverage of the Conservative Party leadership race on Thursday.
Suella Braverman has been eliminated from the contest after the second ballot vote. A televised debate will be held on Friday, and broadcast on Channel 4 at 7.30pm.
Please join us tomorrow for the latest developments.