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Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron says new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom should be sacked after she suggested men shouldn't take on childcare roles in case they are a paedophile.
The controversial comments were made in an interview published in The Times today.
"Your odds are stacked against you if you employ a man", she told the newspaper.
"We know paedophiles are attracted to working with children. I'm sorry but they're the facts."
The South Northamptonshire MP was promoted to the cabinet yesterday by her former rival for the Conservative leadership Theresa May, but the man in charge of the Lib Dems thinks she should be removed straight away.
Chris Grayling has said Theresa May is "enormously honoured" to be entrusted with the task of leadership.
She will be making a statement later today when she returns to London, he said.
Boris Johnson has said he has "no doubt Theresa (May) will make an excellent party leader and Prime Minister" and called for the handover of power to begin "immediately".
Andrea Leadsom wished Home Secretary Theresa May "the greatest success" as she pulled out of her bid to be prime minister.
Here is Andrea Leadsom's speech in full:
Video report by political correspondent David Wood.
South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom has announced that she is pulling out of the Conservative leadership race.
The 53-year-old was criticised at the weekend when an interview was published in The Times in which she appeared to suggest that being a mother made her a better choice to be Prime Minister than her rival Theresa May.
Theresa May has since accepted an apology from Leadsom for the comments.
Conservative leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom is expected to make a statement at 12.15pm amid speculation that she may be poised to pull out of the race to replace David Cameron as prime minister.
If the energy minister confirms that she is planning to quit the battle, it would leave Home Secretary Theresa May as the only candidate - potentially clearing the way for her to be named Tory leader and PM as early as today.
However, it was not immediately clear whether Conservative rules would require the party's 1922 Committee to seek another contender to appear on the ballot paper alongside Mrs May for a planned vote of the party's 150,000 members.
Andrea Leadsom, a candidate in the Tory leadership election, has said sorry to her rival Theresa May in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
Speaking to the paper, she said: "Having children has no bearing on the ability to be PM. I deeply regret that anyone has got the impression that I think otherwise.
"I've already said to Theresa how very sorry I am for any hurt I have caused and how that article said completely the opposite of what I said and believe."
Her apology in the paper comes after former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith appeared on ITV's Peston on Sunday, saying Mrs Leadsom had been "stitched-up" during the interview.
Andrea Leadsom made it "absolutely clear" that references she made to her children in an interview with The Times were not to be used in a "derogatory" way towards Theresa May, her campaign manager has said.
Tim Loughton, Conservative MP East Worthing and Shoreham, defended the Tory leadership candidate's comments and said her children were "the thing that really fires her up", and asked "when has it been a crime to be proud about your children?".
Mr Loughton also questioned whether the debate on children would be an issue if the two candidates were male.
Mr Loughton added that South Northamptonshire MP was a "fresh face" who had "much more experience outside of politics than all the other candidates put together".
Latest ITV News reports
We look back at a rollercoaster couple of weeks for Andrea Leadsom who has now pulled out of the race to be the next PM.
Duncan Smith told Peston on Sunday that there had been "a black-ops" operation to destroy her reputation.