OXFORDSHIRE MP has not decided who to back in the leadership contest to become the next Prime Minister.

Wantage and Didcot MP David Johnston hasn’t chosen who to back since Nadhim Zahawi, who he first supported, was eliminated in the first round.

The contest is now between Rishi Sunak, former chancellor, Penny Mordaunt, trade minister, Liz Truss, foreign secretary, Kemi Badenoch, former equalities minister, and Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs committee.

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Mr Johnston, who resigned from his role as PPS to the Department for Education after a mass of Government resignations last week, said he is now “watching the hustings to decide who the best candidate is”.

“We’re now in a leadership contest” he said. “I backed Nadhim Zahawi in the first round – who came to the country as a refugee who couldn’t read a word of English and now represents the seat of Shakespeare – as I had been working with him and seen up close qualities that I thought would make him a good PM.

“He was unfortunately eliminated in the first round and I am now watching the hustings to decide who the best candidate is – and hoping they focus on the positive case for themselves rather than just the negative case about their rivals.

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“As ever, my main focus will remain trying to be as good a constituency MP as I can be.”

The third round of voting is taking place today (18) with the ballots cast between 5pm and 7pm and the results announced at 8pm.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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