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Duncan Smith: new Prime Minister must be a Brexit backer

By Staff Reporters

The next Prime Minister must be a backer of Brexit, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has said.

His comments came as a number of leading Conservatives geared up to be the 'Stop Boris' candidate in the leadership election triggered by David Cameron's resignation.

Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Nicky Morgan and Jeremy Hunt were all reported to be considering leadership challenges. Boris Johnson, who is expected to announce his candidacy later this week, is seen as the favourite, but could face a further challenge from fellow Leave supporters.

Ex-Defence Secretary Liam Fox, an ardent Brexit campaigner, was the first to publicly say he was considering running. There is also speculation that Michael Gove will too.

But there were calls for the Conservatives not to have a leadership contest at all. International Development Secretary Justine Greening said Mr Johnson and Mrs May were the obvious frontrunners and should unite in the national interest, with a joint leadership "under one or the other".

Home Secretary Mrs May backed Remain but kept a low profile during the campaign.

Meanwhile George Osborne, who until Thursday was considered a leading contender for the Tory leadership, may still run, but would face an uphill struggle to convince MPs and party members because of his central role in arguing against Brexit.

"Whoever takes up that job... it would be very, very difficult for the public who have voted for leaving the European Union to find that they then had a Prime Minister who actually was opposed to leaving the European Union," Mr Duncan Smith told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 yesterday.

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