GAVIN Williamson backed Boris Johnson for PM – saying he’s the only Tory who can “deliver Brexit and beat Labour”.
The sacked Defence Secretary – and former chief whip – told The Sun Boris had “cut through” in every corner of the country.
He said: “It’s clear to me that if you want to keep Corbyn out of Downing Street the only way to do that is vote for Boris Johnson.
“I also believe people have the faith and belief that he is the man to deliver Brexit.”
It came as a poll found 36 per cent favour Mr Johnson in the battle to succeed Theresa May.
Sajid Javid was second on nine per cent in the Survation research.
The backing came as sources claimed the leadership front-runner was picking up notable support from Tory MPs thought to have previously been in the ‘Anyone But Boris’ camp.
Earlier this week, Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson – a fierce Boris critic – pointedly said she could work with anyone in No.10.
A source said: “There are people who three weeks ago would have been ‘Anyone But Boris’ who are now coming on side.”
Ex-Army Officer and ambitious Tory backbencher Johnny Mercer came out for Boris Johnson on Wednesday.
He told ITV’s Peston show that he wanted to team up with Mr Johnson to “inspire the party” to chart a “one nation” course.
The Tory heavyweight was 8-5 favourite with Betfair yesterday with fellow arch Eurosceptic Dominic Raab at 4-1.
GOING FOR IT
Jeremy Hunt is third at 11-1 ahead of Michael Gove at 14s.
One MP said: “Boris is picking up some people from Dominic Raab as MPs are beginning to realise Boris is the one who’s electable.”
The leadership battle erupted last week after Boris Johnson announced “of course I am going to go for it” at an insurance industry conference.
The following day The Sun last week revealed rumours that Michael Gove could set up a “dream team” with Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd.
Mr Hancock held a champagne reception for supporters in central London on Wednesday as Theresa May was holed up in No.10.
The event was designed to mark the return to the Department of Health of Tory peer Nicola Blackwood.
Ex-Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey earlier this week became the first candidate to vow she would be happy to take Britain out of the EU on a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
She also vowed to slash the overseas aid budget by as much as £7 billion to free up money for schools and the police.
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New Aid Secretary Rory Stewart is expected to lay out a suite of policies this weekend for his own leadership.
“He’ll be radical,” one MP said.
“But let’s face it, as a rank outside he’ll have to be.”
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