Has Tory leadership contender Kemi Badenoch given the former contender Tom Tugendhat a golden handshake? 

Tugendhat was knocked out of the leadership race to become the next prime minister in the latest round of voting after he received just 31 votes in the third ballot of Tory MPs. 

Dishi Rishi came out on top once more with 115 votes, while Penny Mordaunt took a dive just behind with 82. Not running far behind Mordaunt was Liz Truss with 71 votes, while Kemi Badenoch secured 58. Today and Wednesday, two more rounds of voting will chop the number of candidates down to the final two.  

In a late-night tweet, Badenoch congratulated and thanked Tugendhat, her “friend”, for his campaign, saying he would be an “asset” to any future Conservative government.


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While Badenoch may have opted for a more ambiguous tone, she could have also saved time (and Twitter characters) by candidly saying, “Endorse me for prime minister, and you’ll get a top job.”

We will see where Tugendhat’s votes head today, but let’s just say it wouldn’t be a surprise if they managed to find sanctuary in Badenoch’s back pocket.