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Gove declines to reveal who he will back for PM

Michael Gove has declined to reveal which side he will be backing in the race between Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom to become the next prime minister.

The justice secretary, who was knocked out of the leadership race by a ballot of Conservative MPs, gave no answer when asked which of the two remaining candidates he would endorse.

He said there were "no regrets" about standing for leadership, adding: "I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a good debate between two excellent candidates."

Gove: What next for the man who betrayed his colleague?

  • ITV News report by Romilly Weeks

Michael Gove has been the butt of all cartoonists' jokes since his very public betrayal of friend Boris Johnson when he left his leadership campaign and began his own.

On Thursday he was eliminated from the Tory leadership contest as he got the fewest votes from his colleagues at Westminster.

So what next for the man who wielded the knife?

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Duncan Smith: Two women will mean an 'honest' campaign

Iain Duncan Smith praised the Credit: Reuters

Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith has said that having two women as candidates for the next leader and prime minister will make it an honest campaign.

He said: "I would like to say to anybody who thinks dirty tricks work: pack it up, because they make you look foolish, make the party look bad and we want a straight, robust contest between two women who know what they are about, who need to present themselves."

Mr Duncan Smith, who is supporting Andrea Leadsom's bid, said he was pleased that two women were in the contest.

He added: "It means people like my daughters and others can think to themselves 'there is no glass ceiling, there is no door that is locked against them as women, they can go to the top wherever they are'."

The campaign to become prime minister starts now

  • ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship reports

Now that the Conservative leadership election has whittled down the candidates to just two - Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom - the real campaigning can begin.

Michael Gove was eliminated in the final round of the contest, and the two female MPs will now have to campaign at hustings nationwide to win the support of Conservative party members, not just MPs.

Leadsom: Fantastic to have all-female shortlist

Andrea Leadsom has said that she is "absolutely delighted" with the results of the Tory MP ballot today, which means that either her or Theresa May will be the next leader of the Tory party and therefore prime minister.

She said she was "very grateful" to her team and "feeling very positive" about the results and the future.

Speaking to reporters, she added: "My commiserations to Michael [Gove] but I'm absolutely delighted with the results.

"The great news is we have an all-female shortlist with no positive discrimination or anything, isn't that fantastic?"

Boris says Conservative party 'most progressive' in Britain

Boris Johnson has congratulated Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom, saying that as a result of two women competing for the top title, the Conservatives are "the most progressive party in Britain".

He also said Leadsom's position in particular was a "stunning achievement".

His full statement:

Many Congratulations to both Andrea and Theresa.

For the second time in history the conservatives will have a female prime minster, proving that we are the not just the greatest but the most progressive party in Britain.

I want to offer particular congratulations to Andrea Leadsom on her stunning achievement.

She is now well placed to win and replace the absurd gloom in some quarters with a positive confident and optimistic approach, not just to Europe, but to government all round.

– Boris Johnson
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