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Brexit: Michael Gove launches leadership bid as prominent Tories back Theresa May - as it happened

Boris Johnson shocked the Conservative Party by pulling out of the leadership race on Thursday

Samuel Osborne,Lizzie Dearden
Friday 01 July 2016 07:23 BST
Michael Gove delivers his speech after announcing his bid to become Conservative Party leader
Michael Gove delivers his speech after announcing his bid to become Conservative Party leader (Reuters)

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Senior Conservatives were giving their backing to Theresa May's leadership bid as rival Michael Gove prepared to set out his case for becoming Prime Minister on Friday.

He became the most prominent pro-Brexit candidate after his shock entry into the race, followed by favourite Boris Johnson's announcement that he would not be running.

The Home Secretary's cabinet colleagues Michael Fallon and Patrick McLoughlin are among those supporting Ms May to be the next Prime Minister.

Turmoil in the Labour Party continues as Jeremy Corbyn continues to refuse calls to resign as leader following a vote of no confidence among his MPs.

A poll indicated he could still see off a leadership challenge but his previously rock-solid support in the party may be falling away.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will spearhead a fightback by the Corbyn camp on Friday, setting out the party's economic response to Brexit as the Labour leadership attempts to show it can still function as an effective opposition despite the revolt.

Meanwhile, debate continues about the path to a Brexit following last week's EU referendum.

Some countries within the union have called on the UK to activate Article 50 and start the process to leave immediately, although the move still needs to be approved in Parliament.

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