Five odd things that happened in the Tory leadership race today

The race to replace Theresa May at Number 10 took a series of bizarre twists as candidates launched their leadership bids.

– Mark Harper was forced to address one of the weightiest issues facing any new British prime minister: who would win a fight between a lion and a bear?

At his “ask me anything” launch event, he said: “On the basis that the lion is the symbol of Britain, I’m going to say the lion.”

Mark Harper: a lion man (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Mark Harper: a lion man (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

– Daytime TV star Lorraine Kelly said she was “baffled” by Esther McVey’s claim that she was promoted above her at GMTV and took aim at the presenter-turned-politician’s policy platform, saying: “I strongly disagree with her on LGBT rights.”

– Former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom reignited her feud with Speaker John Bercow, brandishing a sign saying “Bollocks to Bercow” at a lunch in Westminster.

Andrea Leadsom makes her feelings clear about John Bercow (PA)
Andrea Leadsom makes her feelings clear about John Bercow (PA)

A “Bollocks to Brexit” sticker has been spotted on Mr Bercow’s wife Sally’s car in Westminster.

– Sajid Javid launched a slick promotional video, setting out his personal journey from being the son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver to holding one of the great offices of state.

But a lot of the focus was on Mr Javid’s pet dog Bailey.

Even political opponents took notice, with Labour’s Darren Jones asking: “Where’s the bit of the video with Saj putting up his personal painting of Margaret Thatcher in his office? I must have been distracted by the cute dog.”

– Bailey was not the only pet on parade – Rory Stewart was seen making friends with his potential new cat, Number 10’s Larry, as the UK's International Development Secretary arrived for Cabinet.

Rory Stewart with Larry outside 10 Downing Street (David Mirzoeff/PA)
Rory Stewart with Larry outside 10 Downing Street (David Mirzoeff/PA)

- Press Association

More on this topic

Tory leadership vote: Rory Stewart eliminated as Boris Johnson tops poll again

Third round of voting taking place to choose new Tory leader

Tories choose Brexit over NI: True blues show true colours

Tory leadership race: Candidates clash over Brexit on BBC debate

More in this Section

Second vote in Tory leadership race

Bosnian city popular with tourists awash with rubbish amid landfill protest

Stewart ‘hopeful’ of remaining in Tory leadership race

Trump, outsider-turned-insider, sells himself as rebel for 2020 re-election bid


Whatever happened to Duncan James from Blue?

As a 10-year-old girl climbs El Capitan – 7 reasons to get into climbing, whatever your age

Follow the garden trail to West Cork's Drishane House

How boxing class has helped this cancer survivor keep fighting fit

More From The Irish Examiner