The results of the first round of the Conservative Party leadership election have just been released. Boris Johnson received 114 votes, the largest number of all candidates.
Boris yesterday launched his campaign to become Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. He stressed the importance of delivering Brexit this year in order to restore trust in politics and unite the party and the country, while also highlighting his ability to take on Corbyn’s Labour Party.
"Now is the time to unite this country and unite this society. And we cannot begin that task until we have delivered on the primary request of the people, the big thing they have asked us to do. After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31st.
"We simply will not get a result if we give the impression that we want to go on kicking the can down the road with yet more delay.
"Delay means defeat.
"Delay means Corbyn.
"Kick the can again, and we kick the bucket!
"I will do absolutely anything I can within the bounds of the constitution and the law to prevent the government of the UK from passing into the hands of those who by their total disdain for wealth-creation, their contempt for the normal aspirations of millions to improve their lives, would compromise our ability to fund the NHS, and so much else besides.
"My friends, we cannot let them anywhere near Downing Street!
"The last time, I would remind you, I faced an emanation of that cabal, I defeated him when the Conservatives were 17 points behind in London.
"We can do it again. And we must."
Andrew Percy, the co-chair of the Brexit Delivery Group and MP for Brigg and Goole, and Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, both of whom won their seats from Labour in 2010 have today pledged to back Boris to be the next Conservative Party Leader, describing him as "the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on time" and the candidate who would "lead from the centre of politics".
Andrew Percy MP said:
"Boris's speech yesterday re-enforced his One Nation credentials and leadership experience. He is the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on time and deliver on the result of the referendum.
"He has broad appeal across the party and country and he will lead from centre of politics.
"It is this commitment to moderate One Nation Conservativism which is why he has my full support to become Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister."
Stephen McPartland MP said:
"Boris is the only candidate who can both deliver Brexit on time and unite our great country once more.
"We need to deliver Brexit, move on, and focus on delivering a domestic agenda. From the biggest cash injection in our NHS’s history, to increasing school standards, through providing a more passenger focused public, to strong community policing - we need to be able to get back to talking about the politics in people’s daily lives.
"I believe Boris has a real vision for Britain and can lead my party to become a true one-nation Conservative Party once again."
ConservativeHome’s latest poll gives Boris Johnson an increased lead - with 54% of the 1,500 responses stating that Boris should be the next leader of the Conservative Party.