Penny Mordaunt has rejected a call by Boris Johnson to pull out of the Tory leadership race and back him, sources say, in another blow to his prospects of returning to Downing Street.
Sources close to the Commons leader told Sky News she had spoken to the former prime minister today.
Several long-time allies of Mr Johnson, including Suella Braverman and Steve Baker, threw their support behind Rishi Sunak, the frontrunner in the race, on Sunday.
Mr Baker, the former head of backbench Brexiteers, warned that a potential comeback by Mr Johnson, who was ousted by his colleagues in July, would be a "guaranteed disaster".
Although Mr Johnson has not officially entered the race, his offer to Ms Mordaunt implies he may not have the backing of the 100 MPs he needs to go through to a vote by the party membership.
Ms Mordaunt chose to stick with her own campaign, and earlier insisted she was "in it to win it".
Courtesy: Sky News