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  1. National

Liberal Democrat leader: May should call an election

Tim Farron has said that Theresa May should call an early general election when she becomes prime minister.

The Liberal Democrat leader described May as a "solid choice" for prime minister but told GMB that she criticised Gordon Brown for not calling an election nine years ago when he succeeded Tony Blair as prime minister.

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  1. National

Andrea Leadsom: I wish Theresa May the greatest success

Andrea Leadsom wished Home Secretary Theresa May "the greatest success" as she pulled out of her bid to be prime minister.

Here is Andrea Leadsom's speech in full:

So this morning I have written a letter to Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, and I would like to read it out to you.

The best interests of our country inspired me to stand for the leadership. I believe that in leaving the EU a bright future awaits, where all our people can share in a new prosperity, freedom and democracy.

The referendum result demonstrated a clear desire for change - strong leadership is needed urgently to begin the work of withdrawing from the European Union.

A nine-week leadership campaign at such a critical moment for our country is highly undesirable.

Business needs certainty - a strong and unified Government must move quickly to set out what an independent United Kingdom's framework for business looks like. It is also essential that current EU workers in the UK and businesses that employ them know where they stand.

The Conservative Party was elected only last year with a strong manifesto. We now need a new prime minister in place as soon as possible, committed to fulfilling that manifesto as well as implementing the clear instructions from the referendum.

Theresa May carries over 60% of support from the Parliamentary party. She is ideally placed to implement Brexit on the best possible terms for the British people and she has promised that she will do so.

For me personally, to have won the support of 84 of my colleagues last Thursday was a great expression of confidence for which I am incredibly grateful.

Nevertheless, this is less than 25% of the parliamentary party and after careful consideration I do not believe this is sufficient support to lead a strong and stable government should I win the leadership election. There is no greater privilege than to lead the Conservative Party in government and I would have been deeply honoured to do it.I have, however, concluded that the interests of our country are best served by the immediate appointment of a strong and well-supported prime minister. I am therefore withdrawing from the leadership election and I wish Theresa May the very greatest success. I assure her of my full support. Thank you very much.

– Andrea Leadsom
  1. National

Johnson: May will make an excellent prime minister

Boris Johnson had backed Andrea Leadsom for PM Credit: PA

Boris Johnson has said he has "no doubt Theresa (May) will make an excellent party leader and Prime Minister" and called for the handover of power to begin "immediately".

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