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West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock announces bid to become Prime Minister

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has announced he is standing in the Conservative Party leadership race to become the next Prime Minister.

In a tweet, the Health Secretary said: "I am standing to be Prime Minister.

"We need a leader for the future, not just for now.

"I will deliver Brexit - and then let’s move forward to the bright future we must build for Britain."

Matt Hancock (11113501)
Matt Hancock (11113501)

He is the fifth Tory to enter the race after Theresa May confirmed yesterday that she will quit as party leader on June 7.

A new leader is expected to be chosen by the end of July.

The other candidates who have confirmed they will stand are Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey.

Mr Hancock told the BBC that delivering Brexit was 'mission critical' and the new Prime Minister must be more 'brutally honest' about the 'trade-offs' needed to get a deal through Parliament.

The Daily Telegraph reports that he told he hosted a private drinks party which was attended by donors, supporters and dozens of MPs earlier this week.

It is reported he said: "We need to be confident about the future of our country. I'm proud of our past and I'm excited about our future. And when the time comes, I am ready. I am ready to lead this great party."