Transport secretary pulls out of race to be next PM

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has given up his attempt to become the next Prime Minister.

Mr Shapps is reported to have struggled to get enough nominations, with 20 needed by today for a candidate to go forward.

He is now supporting the former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who seems to be one of the leading contenders, along with Penny Mordaunt who, like Mr Sunak, already has enough support.

Ten candidates are now left in the running but as the deadline for getting 20 expressions of support approaches, it is thought that more will have dropped out by this evening.

Tory MPs are voting today, to decide who will go on to the next round.

Mr Shapps had remained loyal to Boris Johnson and did not resign from the Cabinet, unlike some of his colleagues.

He said: ‘Huge thanks to my team for helping to pull together my leadership bid in literally no time.

‘Amongst a field of brilliant candidates I’ve spoken to Rishi Sunak, who I believe has the competence and experience to lead this country.’