Former U.K. Conservative leadership candidate Sajid Javid threw his weight behind frontrunner Liz Truss in another boost for the favorite to replace Boris Johnson.
In an article for the Times newspaper, Javid — who dramatically quit Johnson’s government in a move that ultimately called time on his premiership — praised the foreign secretary’s record in government and said she was “best placed” to unite the party and “restore a sense of purpose.”
“If we can renew our government with a bold agenda, the Conservatives can still beat Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP at the next election — and the evidence suggests Liz is the best-placed candidate to do so,” the former health secretary wrote.
Javid dropped out of the leadership race last month after failing to win the backing of enough MPs to progress as Conservative lawmakers began whittling down the crowded field of candidates to the final two.
Truss is now going toe-to-toe with former Chancellor Rishi Sunak as the pair vie for the votes of the approximately 200,000 rank-and-file members of the Tory Party.
Whoever wins will be crowned as Conservative leader and the next prime minister on September 5.
Truss has emerged as the frontrunner, thanks in part to the endorsements of several key Cabinet figures and allies of Johnson, along with multiple polls of the Tory membership that so far give her a clear lead over Sunak.
Her seemingly unstoppable march suffered its first setback this week with the botched announcement — and subsequent U-turn — of a “war on Whitehall waste” that would effectively cut the pay of public sector workers outside of London.
However, her campaign was again bolstered Wednesday as a YouGov poll of the Tory membership indicated that her lead had grown compared to late July. The pollster’s research had the foreign secretary 38 points ahead of Sunak, compared to 24 points two weeks earlier.