04:55PM, Thursday 30 June 2016
Windsor MP Adam Afriyie has backed Justice Secretary Michael Gove in the hotly contested race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.
In a shock announcement this morning, Mr Gove declared he would be running for the Tory leadership as he did not believe widely-tipped favourite Boris Johnson could ‘build the team for the task ahead’.
Just hours later, the former London mayor ruled himself out of the running for the top post leaving Mr Gove as the main challenger to Maidenhead MP Theresa May.
But rather than backing his neighbouring MP, Mr Afriyie has now thrown his weight behind the Surrey Heath MP to lead the party and become the UK's next Prime Minister.
He told the Express: “Leadership contests are always fraught with drama and this one is no exception.
“Having spoken to Michael Gove today, he has my full support because he has the experience, the intellect and the desire to see us open up and re-engage with the world in terms of international trade and diplomatic relations.”
A five-way battle looks set to play out for the Conservative leadership with Minister Andrea Leadsom, MP Liam Fox and Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb all in the running.
A decision is expected to be made by September 9.
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