Mr Hancock, who secured 20 votes in the first ballot of the contest on Thursday, said the party is looking for a candidate for the “unique circumstances that exist now”.

He tweeted: “I have decided to withdraw from the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

“I will now look for the best way to advance the values we fought for.”


He also pledged to raise the national living wage to more than £10 an hour.

It is thought that Home Secretary Sajid Javid – who secured 23 votes in the ballot on Thursday – may seek Mr Hancock’s backing.


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