VOTE: Who performed best in the Tory leadership debate?

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart during the BBC TV debate Pict

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart during the BBC TV debate Picture: JEFF OVERS/BBC/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

The final five candidates in the Conservative leadership contest had their say in a lively televised debate this evening. Who do you think took the crown?

The debate was shown live on BBC One from 8pm in a programme entitled 'Our Next Prime Minister'.

The candidates discussed a range of key issues, from how to deliver Brexit, to the environment, to spending on education and mental health provision.

During the debate, Boris Johnson said "we must come out" of the European Union on October 31.

"Otherwise, I'm afraid, we face a catastrophic loss of confidence in politics," he warned.

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"We have already kicked the can down the road twice and I think the British people are getting thoroughly fed up."

Mr Johnson added: "Unless we get out on October 31, I think that we will all start to pay a really serious price."

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He was also challenged over his comparison of veiled Muslim women to "letterboxes".

He said: "In so far as my words have given offence over the last 20 or 30 years when I have been a journalist and people have taken those words out of my articles and escalated them, of course I am sorry for the offence they have caused."

Rory Stewart said he would rule out a no-deal Brexit entirely.

He said: "In the end, we're in a room with a door and the door is called Parliament, and I am the only person here trying to find the key to the door.

"Everybody else is staring at the wall shouting 'believe in Britain'."

Home secretary Sajid Javid said it was "fundamental" to get out of the EU by October 31 and honour the result of the referendum.

He said: "We have failed to act on those instructions and it is fundamental that it has to be by October 31."

He told Mr Gove and Mr Hunt: "We have got to learn from our mistakes. One of the mistakes we have made so far is by having this flexible deadline.

"If you don't have a deadline, you don't concentrate minds, and that also includes the minds of our European friends."

Among the MPs from other parties criticising the debate on social media was Labour's Jess Phillips.

She tweeted: "This format is proving without doubt that the British People are better than those who represent them. All of them are more thoughtful, more expert, more considered and better behaved."

Earlier this evening former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab was eliminated from the leadership contest, following the second round of voting.

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