Penny Mordaunt has confirmed she is running to replace Liz Truss as Tory leader and prime minister.

Announcing her bid for the Tory leadership, Penny Mordaunt tweeted: “I’ve been encouraged by support from colleagues who want a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest.

“I’m running to be the leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister – to unite our country, deliver our pledges and win the next GE.”

It comes after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has signalled he would throw his weight behind Boris Johnson to succeed Liz Truss as Prime Minister as he ruled himself out of the Tory leadership race.

Pointing to Mr Johnson’s record on defence spending and citing the mandate he achieved in 2019, the Cabinet minister said it was important to think about “who could win the next election” for the Conservatives.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt has backing from several MPs after deciding to run, meanwhile while ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak also has backing.

An ally of Ms Mordaunt said earlier today the Cabinet minister was “taking soundings” from colleagues on the prospect of her standing for the top job.

Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are yet to confirm whether they are running for leadership.