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Liam Fox knocked out of Tory race

North Somerset MP Liam Fox has been knocked out in the first round of the race to be Conservative Party leader.

The former Defence Secretary was one of 5 candidates bidding to succeed David Cameron, who quit after Britain's vote to leave the EU.

Liam Fox MP, Tory leadership contender Credit: Liam Fox

The full results of the first round in the Conservative leadership vote are:

Theresa May 165, Andrea Leadsom 66, Michael Gove 48, Stephen Crabb 34, Liam Fox.

Here's what Dr Fox had to say outside Westminster following the result:

Dear All,

I am very grateful to those colleagues who supported me in the ballot today.

Naturally, I am disappointed not to progress further but I do not regret standing in this contest. I felt it was vital to stress the importance of national security in this debate and the need for a clear path to our exit from the European Union. I hope I have achieved both these objectives.

I have also sought to stress the need for experience as the successful candidate will have to take up the reins of government in less than 9 weeks.

Best,

Liam

– Liam Fox MP, Conservative leadership contender

Tory leadership race - Who are our MPs backing?

The runners - Liam Fox, Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove Credit: PA

Voting for the Tory party leadership has been taking place today. Of the West Country MPs who've declared their intentions, this is our understanding of who's backing who:

  • Theresa May - Oliver Colvile (Plymouth Sutton & Devonport), Kevin Foster (Torbay), Peter Heaton-Jones (N Devon), Sarah Newton (Truro & Falmouth), Mel Stride (Central Devon), Hugo Swire (E Devon), Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)
  • Michael Gove - George Eustice (Camborne & Redruth)
  • Stephen Crabb - Steve Double (St Austell & Newquay), Gary Streeter (SW Devon)
  • Andrea Leadsom - Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot), Sheryll Murray (SE Cornwall), Neil Parish (Tiverton & Honiton)
  • Liam Fox - Scott Mann (N Cornwall)

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Tory leadership race - who are our MPs supporting?

The runners - Liam Fox, Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove Credit: PA

This is our understanding of who our MPs from the West are backing in the Tory leadership contest.

Voting closes at 6 pm tonight (Tues 5 July):

  • Theresa May - Robert Buckland (S Swindon), Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswolds), Neil Carmichael (Stroud), Alex Chalk (Cheltenham), Richard Graham (Gloucester), Ben Howlett (Bath), Claire Perry (Devizes).
  • Michael Gove - Jack Lopresti (Filton & Bradley Stoke), Jacob Rees-Mogg (NE Somerset).
  • Stephen Crabb - John Glen (Salisbury), James Heappey (Wells), Luke Hall (Thornbury & Yate), Simon Hoare (N Dorset), Chris Skidmore (Kingswood).
  • Andrea Leadsom - James Gray (N Wilts), Charlotte Leslie (Bristol NW), Andrew Murrison (SW Wilts), Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
  • Liam Fox (N Somerset) is presumably voting for himself!

UKIP Chairman quits

UKIP Chairman Steve Crowther, who's from North Devon, has announced that he's following Nigel Farrage and stepping down from his post.

Crowther says that he'd already made his decision whatever the outcome of the Brexit vote.

Steve Crowther, UKIP Credit: UKIP

I gave notice to the Party Leader some weeks ago that I would resign from the Chairmanship in July, following the Referendum, regardless of the result. Yesterday the NEC received my resignation and approved Nigel’s appointment of Paul Oakden to fill the role from the first of August until the new Leader is elected in September. I agreed with Nigel a year ago, when it became clear that the Referendum would be coming sooner rather than later, that I would stay on until after the Referendum, to do whatever I could to help him achieve the great task of getting our country back. It has been an enormous privilege to serve one of the towering political figures of our age, and play a small part in the Brexit win. I will now return to the party’s grassroots and do what I can to help rebuild the public’s confidence in our country’s future, which has been seriously damaged by the destructive narratives of the Remain campaign. The UK is a great country, a world leader in many fields and a beacon of independence, tolerance and civil and human rights. We have an even brighter future ahead of us, now that we are once again able to chart it for ourselves. I hope that everyone – especially the young – will soon start to see the possibilities ahead, and embrace the future with the hope and enthusiasm it deserves.

– Steve Crowther, UKIP Chairman

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BNP condemns vandalism of Foot memorial

The offensive graffiti is washed off the Michael Foot memorial Credit: ITV News

The British National Party has condemned the 'defilement' of the Michael Foot Memorial in Plymouth.

It says the BNP is not involved in and has no knowledge of the desecration.

The BNP holds such vandals in contempt and under a BNP Government the perpetrators, if found and convicted, would dealt with severely in a court of law.

We appeal to anyone with any knowledge of who was responsible for the desecration of the memorial to come forward either to the police or by calling the BNP directly in confidence, so that action can be taken to arrest those responsible.

– British National Party statement

The BNP believes that the graffiti is part of a campaign to smear, defame and worse, to inflame hatred and insight violence against it as a political party.

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