Michael Gove has been eliminated from the race for the Conservative Party leadership, leaving Andrea Leadsom and front-runner Theresa May as the final two candidates.
Home Secretary Ms May topped the second round of voting, winning the support of 199 of her colleagues, while Energy Minister Ms Leadsom came second on 84 votes.
Mr Gove received 46 votes, eliminating him from the race. Mr Gove said that he was “naturally disappointed” with the result, but said that his two rivals were both “formidable politicians” who deserved to be in the final run-off, and whichever of them won would “lead the country well”.
150,000 Conservative members across the country will choose between Ms May and Ms Leadsom to become the new party leader – and prime minister – on 9 September.
Ms May said: “I am delighted to have won so much support from my colleagues. This vote shows that the Conservative Party can come together – and under my leadership it will. “I have said all along that this election needs to be a proper contest. And now it is time for me – and my team – to put my case to the Conservative Party membership.
“That case comes down to three things. Because we need strong, proven leadership to negotiate the best deal for Britain as we leave the European Union, to unite our party and our country, and to make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us. Those are the things my colleagues have voted for in overwhelming numbers today, and I am confident they will win the support of our members – and the support of the country as a whole.”