Rifkind challenges Clarke for Tory leadership

Sir Malcolm Rifkind announced today he is to run against Ken Clarke for the leadership of the Tory Party.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind announced today he is to run against Ken Clarke for the leadership of the Tory Party.

Just hours after Mr Clarke announced he is to make a third bid for the job, Sir Malcolm formally declared he would also throw his hat into the ring.

“I will be a candidate,” he said.

The shadow work and pensions secretary was facing pressure to renounce his ambitions to lead the party now that Mr Clarke is running on a similar One Nation platform, but he insisted he would not back down.

He also unveiled his campaign team, including two MPs who formerly backed Ken Clarke.

Sir Malcolm told Sky News: “I am a serious candidate, I will be a candidate. I suspect one or two of the other people whose names have been mentioned will not at the end of the day be standing.”

Mr Clarke and Sir Malcolm are the only two potential candidates to formally announce they will run for the leadership.

David Cameron is said to be “almost certain” to stand. David Davis remains the favourite, although he has not yet formally announced he will run.

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