Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rivals Clash in Race to Challenge Boris; GOVE AND HUNT FIGHT IT OUT FOR SECOND SLOT BUT RORY IN RUNNING AHEAD OF KEY BALLOT Johnson Wins Backing after Dropping His Plans for Airport in Estuary

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rivals Clash in Race to Challenge Boris; GOVE AND HUNT FIGHT IT OUT FOR SECOND SLOT BUT RORY IN RUNNING AHEAD OF KEY BALLOT Johnson Wins Backing after Dropping His Plans for Airport in Estuary

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL GOVE and Jeremy Hunt went head-to-head today in an increasingly heated battle for the chance to take on Boris Johnson for the Tory crown.

The two heavyweights locked horns in exclusive interviews with the Evening Standard. Mr Gove said his rival treats Brexit like an "unexploded bomb", while Mr Hunt suggested the Environment Secretary lacks the "experience and trust" needed to do a fresh deal with the EU. Frontrunner Mr Johnson won a triple boost with major endorsements from two of Matt Hancock's former lieutenants, Damian Green and Tracey Crouch, and from defeated rival Andrea Leadsom.

Insurgent candidate Rory Stewart kept the nation guessing about whether or not he was a real-life James Bond, saying he was not but adding it would be against the Official Secrets Act for a spy to admit his profession.

In other key developments today: The Standard can reveal that Mr Johnson has finally dropped his long-standing plan for a Thames Estuary.

Continued on Page 5 Continued from Page 1 ??airport that would have replaced Heathrow's controversial third runway. The former London mayor gave the assurance to Kent MPs whose constituents are opposed to any extra noise. He has also told MPs he cannot halt Heathrow expansion.

. Mr Gove unveiled in the Standard a major policy to tackle knife crime and mend "broken lives" of young people that would put a duty on schools to "take responsibility" for the future education of teenagers who are expelled. He also revealed plans to get every Premier League football club to help their local schools inspire troubled teens.

. Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt revealed to this newspaper plans for a PS30 million programme to cut rough sleeping in London by slashing red tape for organisations offering beds for the night. He also launched plans for faster broadband to every home and to make London a "pollution-free" city with electric cars. …

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