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Matt Hancock quits Tory leadership race

Health secretary Matt Hancock has quit the race to become Prime Minister, having finished sixth in the first round of voting among Conservative Party MPs.

Mr Hancock said that he had been ‘encouraged and humbled’ by the amount of support he has had in the campaign.

After the first round of voting, Mr Hancock narrowly exceeded the threshold of MP support needed to remain in the race.

He told the BBC: ‘I’ve been incredibly encouraged and humbled by the amount of support that I’ve had in this campaign.

‘I’ve tried to make the argument about the values that the Conservative Party needs to hold dear, of free enterprise and support for a free society and being open and optimistic and enthusiastic about the future.’

He added: ‘But the party clearly is looking for a candidate to deal with the here and now. I very much put myself forward as the candidate focused on the future.

‘And so I’ve decided to withdraw from the race and instead see how best I can advance those values within the party and the big and difficult tasks we’ve got ahead.’

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt came second in the first round of voting, way behind former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.