Milton Keynes MP who backed Boris Johnson stays silent over his next choice for Prime Minister

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Instead, Ben Everitt has wished people a ‘happy Diwali’ today

As Tory MPs chose who they want to become their next Prime Minister today (Monday), one Milton Keynes MP is staying silent.

Ben Everitt, who represents MK North, publicly declared his support for Boris Johnson shortly before the former MP dropped out of the race.

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On Saturday Mr Everitt tweeted emphatically: "We need experience and resilience. In the national interest I am backing Boris Johnson."

Ben Everitt spent the weekend in FranceBen Everitt spent the weekend in France
Ben Everitt spent the weekend in France

Yesterday (Sunday) he retweeted a statement from Nadhim Zahawi MP, who stated: “I’m backing Boris. He got the big calls right, whether it was ordering more vaccines ahead of more waves of Covid, arming early against the advice of some, or stepping down for the sake of unity. But now, Britain needs him back. We need to unite to deliver on our manifesto.”

Just hours later Boris announced he had dropped out of the race for the Conservative Party leadership and the next prime minister of the UK - despite claiming to have the support of enough MPs.

Mr Everitt, who spent the weekend at an international trade fair in France, has made no further announcements about which contender he will back instead. This morning his only tweet was to wish a very happy Diwali “to all those celebrating in Milton Keynes and around the world”.

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Meanwhile Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart is one of dozens of Tory MPs to have backed Rishi Sunak all along.

Tory MPs are today choosing who they want as their new leader.

Rishi Sunak has become the firm frontrunner, while uncertainty remains over rival Penny Mordaunt’s prospects of securing sufficient support from MPs.

Nominations close at 2pm today, with candidates who have reached the 100 nominations threshold announced before 2.30pm.

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A first ballot result will be announced at 6pm, with a second at 9pm if required.

Former Chancellor Sunak already had more than 140 public declarations of support on Sunday night, whereas rival Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the House, had fewer than 30.

Her team are hoping that the departure of Brois Johnson will see a swathe of MPs who were backing him or are yet to declare swing behind her instead.