Home Secretary Priti Patel is not standing in the Conservative Party leadership race.
In a statement, she said: “I am grateful for the encouragement and support colleagues and Party members have offered me in recent days in suggesting that I enter the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party. I will not be putting my name forward for the ballot of MPs.
“As Home Secretary I have always put the security and safety of our country and the national interest first and my focus is to continue working to get more police on our streets, support our amazing security services to keep our country safe and control our borders.
“As a lifelong and committed Conservative, I will always make the case for freedom, enterprise and opportunity and work with colleagues to deliver these values in Government.
Priti Patel James Manning
Ms Patel reportedly had the backing of 13 Tory MPs Danny Lawson
“Like all Conservative MPs and Party members, I will be listening to cases being put forward by the candidates standing for the leadership of the Party and trust the contest will be conducted in a good spirit that brings our Party together.”
Ms Patel had already received the backing of 13 Tory MPs, according to Guido Fawkes.
Her decision not to stand in the leadership race means there are 10 candidates hoping to become Prime Minister.
The full list of candidates are Rishi Sunak, Kemi Badenoch, Nadhim Zahawi and Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Jeremy Hunt, Tom Tugendhat, Suella Braverman, Rehman Chisthi and Sajid Javid.
Speaking at his campaign launch event earlier today, Mr Sunak said he is not prepared to “demonise” Boris Johnson.
Mr Sunak said that while Mr Johnson was “flawed” and that he had often disagreed with him, he had a “good heart”.
“I will have no part in a rewriting of history that seeks to demonise Boris, exaggerate his faults or deny his efforts,” he told an animated crowd of supporters and media.
Mr Sunak said he will run a “positive campaign” and refuse to “engage in the negativity you have seen and read in the media”.