Monday 23 January 2017

Britain's next prime minister is set to be a woman

Published 07/07/2016 | 16:40

Tory leadership candidate Theresa May AFP/Getty Images
Tory leadership candidate Theresa May AFP/Getty Images

Britain's next prime minister is set to be a woman, after Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom took the top two slots in a crucial vote of Conservative MPs.

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Justice Secretary Michael Gove was eliminated from the contest to succeed David Cameron as Tory leader, taking just 46 votes in the second-round ballot at Westminster.

Home Secretary Mrs May remains in pole position with 199 votes - well over half of the 330 Conservative MPs - with energy minister Mrs Leadsom on 84.

But the final decision on which of them will become the UK's second female prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher, will be made by Conservative Party members in a postal ballot due to end on September 9.

Michael Gove said he was "naturally disappointed" to be eliminated but said his two rivals were both "formidable politicians" who deserved to be in the final run-off, and whichever of them won would "lead the country well".

Andrea Leadsom arrives at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster, London, yesterday to launch
her bid to be the leader of the Conservative Party. Photo: Getty
Andrea Leadsom arrives at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster, London, yesterday to launch her bid to be the leader of the Conservative Party. Photo: Getty

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