Rishi Sunak receives further boost as Steve Barclay declares support

Rishi Sunak’s bid to be the next leader of the Conservative Party has received another significant boost after Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, declared his support for the former chancellor. 

Mr Barclay said in a statement that he had “worked closely with him when I was chief secretary to the Treasury and I am convinced that he has all the right attributes to take our country forward”. 

Mr Barclay, Boris Johnson’s former chief of staff in No 10, is the third senior minister to back Mr Sunak in the last 24 hours after Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, and Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, both declared their support. 

Eight candidates are still in the race to replace Mr Johnson after nominations closed last night: Mr Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat, Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi and Suella Braverman. 

The first round of voting will take place this afternoon from 1.30pm to 3.30pm with a result announced at 5pm. Any candidate who fails to secure the votes of 30 Tory MPs will be knocked out, with the next round taking place tomorrow.

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