The Latest: UK prime minister pool cut to 4, Johnson at top

The Latest on Conservative Party voting to pick Britain's next prime minister (all times local):

6:05 p.m.

The contest to become Britain's next prime minister is down to four candidates, with Boris Johnson building on his commanding lead in a Conservative Party vote.

Johnson gained 143 of 313 votes cast by Conservative lawmakers Wednesday in their third round of voting.

He's being chased by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, a longshot candidate who energized the race, received the fewest votes and drops out.

Two more votes are scheduled for Thursday to whittle the field down to two. The final two contenders will go to a by-mail ballot of all 160,000 Conservative Party members nationwide.

The winner is due to be announced in late July, and will replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister.


11:05 a.m.

Britain's Conservative Party is set to kick one more candidate out of the contest to become the country's next prime minister, as rivals scramble to catch front-runner Boris Johnson.

The five-strong field will be narrowed in elimination votes by Tory lawmakers Wednesday and Thursday, with the two top candidates going to a runoff of party members across the country.

One of the remaining candidates, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, says he is talking to Environment Secretary Michael Gove about combining forces. He says the question is "who is best able to politely and respectfully defeat Boris Johnson."

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid are also in the race.

The winner, due to be announced in late July, will replace Theresa May as Conservative leader and prime minister.


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