Matt Hancock, the U.K.'s health secretary | Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images
Matt Hancock pulls out of Tory leadership race
‘It’s increasingly clear that the party understandably is looking for a candidate for the unique circumstances that exist now.’
Updated 6/14/19, 3:10 PM CET
LONDON — The Conservative leadership race lost another contender Friday, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock withdrew, saying the party is looking for a candidate for the “unique circumstances” of Brexit.
Six candidates to be Tory leader and the next U.K. prime minister remain in the contest.
Hancock, who won just 20 votes in the first round of voting among MPs on Thursday, said he would now speak to the remaining contenders and consider which one to back. Boris Johnson took 114 votes in the secret ballot of 313 Conservative MPs, well ahead of his nearest rivals Jeremy Hunt with 43 and Michael Gove with 37.
Hancock is an ex-Remainer who advocates renegotiating aspects of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, but has warned against a no-deal outcome and insisted parliament would never approve it.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Hancock said: “I put myself forward as the candidate of the future, but it’s increasingly clear that the party understandably is looking for a candidate for the unique circumstances that exist now.”
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Read More at politico.eu Charlie Cooper