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6/19, 12:02 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Rory Stewart mulls joining forces with Michael Gove

Contender for the next Conservative leader Rory Stewart is talking to his rival Michael Gove "about combining forces," he told the BBC on Wednesday following the second round of voting in the Tory leadership contest.

"We are talking about combining forces because it is clear that Boris is going into the last round and the question is who is best placed to sit on a stage with Boris Johnson and who is best placed to ask the testing questions that need to be asked," Stewart said. However, Steward then told Sky News that the remaining contenders should drop out of the race and back him instead as he is "massively outpolling them with all the key target groups."

The second round of voting saw former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab eliminated, while frontrunner Johnson strengthened his position. The next vote will take place later in the day.

Breaking the News / JC