It’s quicker these days to list the number of Tory MPs not running to be leader than those expected to go for the top job. Last night another candidate appeared to join the list at an unofficial hustings hosted by the Telegraph.
Mr Steerpike popped along to the £75 event, held next door to the Savoy, where James Cleverly strongly hinted that he would make a leadership bid, alongside fellow hopefuls Liz Truss, Matt Hancock and Dominic Raab.
When pressed on whether he would run by the Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey, Cleverly wouldn’t rule it out, saying that all talented MPs should want the top job and that ‘we should have as much competition in the race for leadership’ as possible.
Victoria Atkins, a minister for crime, quipped ‘so that’s a yes’ to audience laughter, after ruling out a bid herself.
Cleverly was the only minister who attended the drinks reception afterwards, and told the attendees that the ‘best time to run’ was just after the starting gun had been fired, not before.