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Amber Rudd backs Boris Johnson to be Tory leader

Amber Rudd Credit: PA

ITV News understands that Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd is backing Boris Johnson to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.

The MP for Hastings and Rye's support comes after she attacked him during a debate on ITV in the run-up to the EU referendum, saying that he was using it to boost his Conservative leadership ambitions and said he was "peddling misinformation".

I fear that the only number that Boris is interested in is the one that says No 10.

– Ms Rudd attacked Boris Johnson in a debate on immigration numbers

Andrea Leadsom and David Davis back Boris Johnson

Andrea Leadsom and David Davis Credit: PA; Reuters

Former Conservative leadership candidate David Davis has given Boris Johnson his backing to be the next leader of the Tories.

The MP for Haltemprice and Howden lost out to David Cameron in the 2005 contest.

ITV News also understands that Andrea Leadsom, who was widely expected to launch her own leadership bid, is backing the former London mayor.

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Crabb: We have never faced challenges like ones ahead

Stephen Crabb officially launched his Tory leadership campaign on Wednesday. Credit: PA

Stephen Crabb said the UK faces challenges ahead "the like of which we have never seen before", as he formally launched his bid to become the next leader of the Conservative party.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said there could be no "stepping back" from the referendum result and ruled out a second ballot.

"Today we face a set of challenges the like of which we have never seen in Britain, a set of problems of almost mind-boggling complexity," he said.

"There is no playbook available that would explain all the manoeuvres and steps that need to be taken to get through this. There is no manual waiting on anyone's shelf to be dusted down that provides instructions on the way forward.

"There is certainly no candidate in this race who can stand here today and provide all the answers."

'Global player' Boris should 'push the button' on Brexit

Liz Truss has said it is time to "push the button" on Brexit, as she endorsed Boris Johnson as the "global player" the UK needs to lead it into "uncharted territory".

The Environment Secretary told ITV News Mr Johnson is the "type of person we need" as Prime Minister, as she lauded the "fantastic job" he did as Mayor of London.

The MP for South West Norfolk also called for swift negotiations on Britain's new relationship with the EU.

"In my view the British people have spoken, there's no going back," she said. "We do need to press the button on exit and get on with it, because there would be a huge gap in trust if we were not to deliver on what was a referendum with an incredibly high turnout.

"I personally didn't argue for that but... I believe when the people speak we need to listen and we need to deliver."

Stephen Crabb launches Tory leadership bid

Stephen Crabb launched his Tory leadership bid at a news conference in London on Wednesday. Credit: Reuters

Stephen Crabb has launched his bid to become the next leader of the Conservative party.

The Work and Pensions Secretary, who backed staying in the European Union during the referendum campaign, said the "three driving principles" for the party's EU negotiations based on the message from last week's Leave vote should be:

  • Controlling immigration, which he vowed to make "a red line"
  • To achieve as close an economic relation with EU as we have now
  • The end of the supremacy of EU law

Mr Crabb said "no one is under any illusions" about the scale of the "challenge" to control immigration and maintain the same level of economic integration with the EU.

Speaking of his background, the Pembrokeshire MP said he has "worked every week from the age of 12" and paid his way through university working on building sites.

He added that he was brought up to understand that "nothing gets handed to you on a plate".

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