Nadhim Zahawi and Jeremy Hunt eliminated from Tory leadership race

ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt reports on the latest developments in the Conservative leadership race to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister

Senior Tories Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi have been eliminated from the Tory leadership race after failing to gain enough support to progress.

They were required to get the backing of 30 MPs to reach the next round but Mr Hunt got just 18 and Chancellor Zahawi got 25.

Who is through to the next round and how many votes did they get?

Rishi Sunak guaranteed his place in the contest's next round well before voting closed at 3:30pm, with more than 50 Tories publicly declaring their support for him.

Penny Mordaunt, who officially launched her campaign with a speech on Wednesday morning, was also certain to proceed after gaining the public support of more than 30 colleagues.

Under the contest's rules, any MP who received less than 30 nominations would be eliminated and if all reached the threshold, then the candidate with the least support would drop out.

Mr Hunt tweeted a "gentle word of advice" after dropping out the contest, warning the remaining candidates against "smears & attacks", which he said may bring "short term tactical gain but always backfire long term".

"The nation is watching & they've had enough of our drama; be the broad church & unbeatable, election winning machine that our country deserves."

Mr Tugendhat said it was a "fantastic result" to reach the contests' next stage and a spokeswoman for Ms Truss said it was "time to unite behind the candidate" who will deliver economic change.

Ms Mordaunt released a video on Instagram thanking all those who supported her.

Chancellor Zahawi thanked his backers after bowing out of the contest and declined to throw his weight behind another candidate.

"I don't intend to make any further intervention, but I wish all the candidates in the leadership contest the very best of luck," he said in a statement.

The statement on behalf of Ms Truss read: "Now is the time for colleagues to unite behind the candidate who will cut taxes, deliver the real economic change we need from day one and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine.

"Liz has the experience to deliver the benefits of Brexit from day one, grow our economy and support working families."

In a tweet, Mr Tugendhat said: "This is a fantastic result. I'm delighted to be going through to the next round with the momentum we need to change this country for the better."

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From Thursday, July 21, the two finalists will tour the country after MPs break up for summer recess, in a bid to win support from Tory party members.

Voting cards will be sent to the 200,000 Tory members over the summer and the deadline for them to be complete will be late August.

The winner will be announced on September 5 and Boris Johnson will leave 10 Downing Street on September 6, Number 10 said.

What next?

Tory MPs will be balloted again tomorrow and the candidate with the fewest nominations will be eliminated from the race.

Those remaining after that will face a series of TV debates over the weekend, with Channel 4's offering coming at 7pm on Friday, ITV's at 7pm on Sunday and Sky's at 7pm on Monday.

There will also be three hustings on Monday, giving Tory MPs another chance to assess who they want to be the next prime minister.

The following rounds of ballots will be conducted rapidly in order to whittle the candidates down to a final two by the final day of voting on Wednesday, July 20.