Next Prime Minister will be a woman after Tories boot out Michael Gove in Conservative leadership contest

Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom.
Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom.
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The next Prime Minister will now certainly be a woman after Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom were chosen as the final two candidates in the Conservative leadership contest.

Michael Gove, who led the Leave campaign alongside Boris Johnson in the EU Referendum, was knocked out in the second round of voting by Tory MPs.

Michael Gove. Picture by PA.

Michael Gove. Picture by PA.

The decision is now up to the whole of the Conservative Party, with every member getting a vote in the final ballot on the remaining two candidates.

Gove, the Justice Secretary, was eliminated from the contest to succeed David Cameron as Tory leader after taking just 46 votes in the second-round ballot at Westminster.

Home Secretary Mrs May remains in pole position with 199 votes - well over half of the 330 Conservative MPs - with energy minister Mrs Leadsom on 84.

But the final decision on which of them will become the UK's second female prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher, will be made by Conservative Party members in a postal ballot due to end on September 9.

Liam Fox was knocked out on Tuesday in the first round of voting. Fellow contender Stephen Crabb, who came fourth in Tuesday's round, stood down and offered his backing to Mrs May.