Possible successor may Boris Johnson has admitted to cocaine use

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"I'm incredibly grateful for all the support I've received throughout this campaign and I'm really proud we've set the agenda in fighting for values of free enterprise and a free society and trying to make sure the Conservative Party is focused on delivering for people and winning the centre ground of politics", said the West Suffolk MP.

Mr Hancock, health secretary and West Suffolk MP, secured just 20 votes in the first ballot of Conservative MPs, which left him in sixth place in the race to be the next leader.

We would expect the Pound to continue to find support should Boris Johnson maintain his clear lead. He won the backing of 114 of 313 Conservative lawmakers in a first round of voting on Thursday, nearly three times as many as his nearest rival.

Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, told Mr Johnson it was his duty to debate with his rivals and "get out and do the TV debates", according to the Times.

Johnson said London could finally get what it wanted once it made abundantly clear to Brussels that it could walk away without a deal.

Mr Johnson was the clear victor in the first ballot with 114 votes - 71 votes ahead of his nearest rival, Jeremy Hunt. Business can have no absolute reassurance that an agreement will be reached, particularly given the commitment of some Conservative leadership candidates to leaving the European Union in October with or without a deal.

Reports in the United Kingdom suggest Mr Hancock could now back home secretary Sajid Javid's campaign - but the minister insists he has yet to make up his mind.

But he is taking flak from other candidates as the only one yet to confirm he will take part in Sunday's Channel 4 debate.

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Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said earlier on Friday that Johnson's Brexit proposals had to be scrutinized.

So it's going to boil down to how numerous 30 extra votes Boris Johnson can take on Tuesday.

After stalling for the past week on whether he'd participate in debates with other contenders, Mr Johnson has said he is prepared to take part.

Johnson said he did not want a no-deal Brexit but he ruled out a further extension beyond the current October 31 deadline.

Mr Hunt told the BBC: "We can only have that debate if our front-runner in this campaign is a little bit braver in terms of getting out into the media and actually engaging in debates".

The final pair will then be put to a nationwide vote where party members will select their candidate of choice to replace May as both head of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

Parliament has indicated it will try to stop a no-deal Brexit, which investors warn would hurt financial markets and shock the world economy.

Britain's businesses are being advised to prepare for no-deal Brexit after hard-line Brexiteers took the lead in the latest Conservative leadership vote.

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