FORMER minister Sam Gyimah has become the 13th Tory MP to enter the race to replace Theresa May in No.10.
The Remain supporter announced his intention to run for the party leadership on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday.
He said: ‘I will be joining the contest to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister to broaden the race.
‘There is a wide range of candidates out there but there is a very narrow set of views on Brexit being discussed.
‘While there’s a broad sweep of opinion in the country on how we move forward at this critical time, that is not being reflected in the contest at the moment.’
The East Surrey MP (pictured), who resigned from the government last year over Mrs May’s Brexit plan, has since become a vocal advocate for a second referendum.
He said: ‘What most of the candidates are offering is to offer no-deal and a fudge on Theresa May’s deal, which has been heavily defeated. We all know parliament is deadlocked, we want to move forward, and we want to be able to bring the country together. I think a final say on the Brexit deal is the way to achieve that and for the Conservative Party I think what we need to be doing is putting the country first.’
No MPs had publicly backed Mr Gyimah for PM last night.
But he denied the leadership bid was merely a ploy to position himself for a cabinet job, saying it would be ‘difficult’ for him to serve a PM pursuing a no-deal.
His entry into the crowded race came after Mark Harper became the 12th MP to throw their hat into the ring on Friday. The Forest of Dean MP, who quit as an immigration minister in 2014 after it emerged his cleaner lacked permission to work in the UK, said he could offer a ‘fresh approach’.
The ex-chief whip said he had an advantage over other candidates as he had not served under Mrs May. He backed Remain in the referendum but said: ‘I’m a democrat and I want to deliver Brexit.’
Justice secretary David Gauke has come out in support of international development secretary Rory Stewart’s bid to replace Mrs May.