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Andrea Leadsom drops out of leadership race

Andrea Leadsom has dropped out of the race Credit: ITV

Conservative leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom has sensationally dropped out of the race to replace David Cameron, apparently clearing the way for Theresa May to become the UK's second female prime minister.

Mrs Leadsom - who had admitted she was "shattered" by the experience of intense media scrutiny since securing the second place on the ballot paper in the leadership contest - said she had decided she did not have sufficient support among MPs "to lead a strong and stable government".

Speaking on the steps of her campaign HQ in Westminster, the Energy Minister wished Mrs May "the very greatest success" and promised her "my full support".

She said the country needed a new PM as soon as possible and Mrs May was ideally placed to deliver Britain's withdrawal from the EU following last month's referendum.

The chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee was due to make a swift statement following Mrs Leadsom's departure, amid speculation that he will confirm that, as the only candidate remaining on the ballot paper, Mrs May can become leader without facing a vote of the party's 150,000 members.

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Andrea Leadsom withdraws bid to be prime minister

Andrea Leadsom on Monday morning Credit: Pool

Andrea Leadsom has withdrawn her bid to be prime minister.

The junior energy minister said a nine-week leadership campaign at such a critical time for the UK would be "highly undesirable" and said she had decided she did not have sufficient support among MPs "to lead a strong and stable government."

She added that Theresa May was ideally placed to implement Brexit and offered the Home Secretary her full support.

Speaking on the steps of her campaign HQ in Westminster, she wished May "the very greatest success."

Leadsom pulled out the day after apologising to her Tory leadership candidate rival over comments she had made about motherhood to The Times newspaper.

  • The chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee is due to make a statement following Leadsom's departure, amid speculation that he will confirm that, as the only candidate remaining on the ballot paper, May can become leader without facing a vote of the party's 150,000 members.
  1. National

Newspaper publishes Andrea Leadsom interview transcript

Andrea Leadsom said she was 'appalled' by the story Credit: PA

A transcript of an interview Conservative leader hopeful Andrea Leadsom gave to The Times discussing her role as a mother has been published.

Mrs Leadsom is reported to have made comments to the newspaper suggesting that being a mother gives her an "edge" over Tory rival Theresa May - who does not have children.

But the 53-year-old denied the claims on social media, saying the newspaper had reported the "opposite" of what she said.

On Saturday, Emma Tucker, the paper's deputy editor, published the supposed transcript of the interview on Twitter in a bid to back up the story.

Former Prime Minister remembered in Salisbury - 100 years since his birth

A special party has been held at the home of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath who was born 100 years ago today. It's one of a number of events taking place to mark the centenary of his birth, including special exhibitions, concerts and lectures. The politician died in 2005 at the age of 89. His home Arundells, which overlooks Salisbury Cathedral, was left to a charitable foundation and is visited by tourists from across the globe. Mary Stanley has our report

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Former Prime minister's friends mark 100th birthday

Politicians, friends and colleagues of the late Sir Ted Heath gather at his home

The friends of the former British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath have held a celebration at his home on what would have been his 100th birthday, had he still been alive.

The gathering was held at Arundells in Salisbury, the home where he lived from 1985 until his death in 2005 at the age of 89. The Conservative politician, Sir Edward Heath, was the Prime Minister between the years 1970 and 1974. His former home has become a museum, and is open to the public.

Sir David Hunt, the Chairman of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, paid tribute to his colleague.

A cake for the late Prime Minister

Theresa May visits Oxfordshire school

A frontrunner in the Conservative Party leadership race has visited Oxfordshire to open a new project at a special school.

Home Secretary Theresa May, who would become Prime Minister if she won the Tory party contest, visited John Watson School in Wheatley.

She opened the school’s outdoor learning area.

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