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Liz Truss keeps third spot in Conservative leadership race as another candidate goes

Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt have maintained their places at the front of the Tory leadership race as Suella Braverman was eliminated.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, came in third but will hope to pick up votes from Ms Braverman’s supporters in the next round.

Mr Sunak picked up 101 votes, Ms Mordaunt 83, Ms Truss 64, Kemi Badenoch 49 and Tom Tugendhat 32.

MP Elizabeth Truss. Picture: UK Parliament
MP Elizabeth Truss. Picture: UK Parliament

Ms Braverman had 27 votes, five fewer than she had in Wednesday’s first round of the contest despite the field being smaller on Thursday.

Mr Tugendhat also dropped five votes, but his team insisted he would not quit the race.

Ms Mordaunt gained the most votes, putting on 16 from Wednesday’s total.

Mr Sunak put on an extra 13 votes and is closing in on the 120 votes required to guarantee a place in the final two, who will face a vote of the Tory membership to decide the next party leader and prime minister.

Ms Truss, who had a campaign launch speech earlier today, gained 14 votes but will hope that she can serve as a standard-bearer for the party’s right, picking up supporters from not only Ms Braverman but also Ms Badenoch – who is under pressure from the Foreign Secretary’s allies to pull out of the contest.

A Truss campaign spokeswoman said: “As Liz set out in her speech now is the time for MPs to unite behind the candidate who will cut taxes, deliver the real economic change we need, continue to deliver the benefits of Brexit and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine.”