Boris Johnson tops first ballot in Tory leadership contest

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In UK, Boris Johnson has secured the highest number of votes in the first ballot to select the Conservative party leader and next Prime Minister.

The former Cabinet minister received 114 votes in the first round of a secret ballot, followed by UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in second place with 43 and Environment secretary Michael Gove third with 37 votes. Three contenders - Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey - were knocked out of the race after failing to secure the minimum requirement of 17 votes.

It leaves seven candidates in the fray for the second round of voting next week. The candidates include former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in fourth place with 27 votes, Home Secretary Sajid Javid fifth with 23, Health Secretary Matt Hancock sixth with 20 and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart in the last place with 19.

The two most popular MPs from among the seven will be put to Tory party members in a final vote later this month. The winner of the contest to succeed Theresa May is expected to be announced in the week of 22 July. (AIR NEWS)