THREE of Wiltshire’s five Conservative MPs are backing former Chancellor Rishi Sunak to become the next party leader and the UK’s Prime Minister.

Dr Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire), James Gray (North Wiltshire) and John Glen (Salisbury) are all backing Mr Sunak.

Michelle Donelan (Chippenham) and James Gray (North Wiltshire) both supported Penny Mordaunt, who was eliminated in the fifth round ballot. Mr Gray said he will now be supporting Mr Sunak.

Commenting on the result, Miss Donelan said: “Proud to have supported Penny Mordaunt MP - it is disappointing that she didn’t make it into the final two because I really do think she had something special to offer with a great vision for our country. That’s why I backed her and campaigned for her.

“Now we are left with two cracking candidates and I am confident either would make a brilliant Prime Minister.

“I will be listening to the final two and looking for the one who understands that education should be the beating heart of their government to drive up opportunities and productivity.”

Mr Glen said: “This race has only just begun. Now Rishi Sunak will build on the confidence of MPs, to earn the confidence of our Party. Rebuilding trust, strengthening our economy, setting our sights towards a fairer and brighter future for all.”

Danny Kruger (Devizes) had supported the Attorney General Suella Braverman who was knocked out in an earlier round of the ballot. It is not known who he supported in the latest round.

Mr Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will now go head-to-head in the battle to become their new party leader.

The winner of the vote by around 160,000 Tory Party activists will become the UK’s next Prime Minister.

The membership ballot result will be declared on September 5 and the victor will become the new PM the next day.

Mr Sunak topped the 5th round ballot of MPs with 137 votes, while Ms Truss emerged victorious for the second spot battle with International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt by 113 votes to 105 votes.

The former Chancellor gained a further 19 votes to become the Westminster favourite to succeed Boris Johnson as PM, while Ms Truss gained a further 27 votes.

Ms Mordaunt was eliminated despite having gained a further 13 votes from MPs following the departure of Kemi Badenoch.

Mr Sunak and Mrs Truss will now go head-to-head in a ballot of Tory Party members during the summer. Their first major clash is expected to be in a BBC TV debate on Monday evening.