The blunder follows Rory Stewart being eliminated from the Tory leadership contest, with Boris Johnson winning the third round of votes. Nicky Morgan, who backs Michael Gove as the next Tory leader, corrected herself quickly afterwards. talkRADIO presenter Eamonn Holmes asked: “You’re a Michael Gove supporter in all of this. Do you think he’ll benefit from Rory Stewart’s elimination?” The former Education Secretary replied: “Well I suspect as ever votes will go slightly all over the place. But I know that a number of people who are supporting Rory are great friends of mine in Parliament.
“And I think they will want to make sure that the person who is number two, who is going to go through to the members’ contest, is going to hold Boris properly to account.
“And I will be saying to them that as somebody who voted Remain in 2016 I think it’s important that we have a Brexiteer as the next Prime Minister.
“There are two Brexiteers left in the contest, that’s Boris and Michael, and I’m going to ask them to support Boris.
“Um not support Boris, support Michael.”
I think it’s important that we have a Brexiteer as the next Prime Minister
The radio host chuckled before clarifying: “Freudian slip of the tongue there. They say you can’t trust who you guys are supporting or who you say you are supporting publicly.
“But you’re firmly behind Michael Gove.”
Mr Johnson received 143 votes, while Mr Stewart was eliminated after receiving 27, the lowest number of all the candidates.
The International Development Secretary was the only contender to lose votes, shedding 10 since yesterday’s ballot. Jeremy Hunt came in second place with 54, Michael Gove was next on 51 and Sajid Javid received 38.
Following the vote, Mr Johnson tweeted: “Thank you once again to friends and colleagues for your support in the third ballot – especially on my birthday! We’ve come a long way but we have much further to go.”
Mr Hunt also tweeted: “Three times now MPs have chosen me as the person best-paced to take on Boris.
“If I make it to the final I will put my heart & soul into giving him the contest of his life: in politics today the unexpected often happens.
“The stakes too high to allow anyone to sail through untested.”
Mr Javid said: “Delighted to make it through to the final day of MP voting. Grateful for the support of many excellent colleagues. We can do this! #TeamSaj #BrexitAndBeyond”
Having topped all three ballots so far, Mr Johnson appears certain to make it through to the final two candidates who will face a vote by 160,000 Tory members to choose the next Prime Minister.
It comes after Dominic Raab was booted out of the race yesterday.
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