The Latest: Stephen Crabb pulls out of Tory leadership race

The Associated Press

The Latest on Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

British Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb has withdrawn from the Conservative Party leadership race after a poor finish in the first round of voting.

Crabb said Tuesday he will back Home Secretary Theresa May, who finished first in the vote.

Crabb finished fourth out of five candidates in the first round of voting, garnering only 34 votes from the party’s members of Parliament.

His decision leaves three candidates standing for the next round of voting Thursday.

They are May, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, and Justice Secretary Michael Gove.

Former Defense Secretary Liam Fox finished last in the voting and was eliminated.


6:40 p.m.

Home Secretary Theresa May has scored extremely well in the first round of voting for the next leader of the Conservative Party, who will become prime minister.

She received 165 votes from fellow Conservative Party members of Parliament, far more than Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, who received 66 votes.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove received 48 votes. Stephen Crabb finished fourth with 34 supporters.

Former defense secretary Liam Fox received only 16 votes and was eliminated from the leadership contest.

The voting is scheduled to resume Thursday, when the party’s 330 legislators can choose from the four remaining candidates. The voting continues until two candidates remain. At that point, the choice will be put to the entire Conservative Party membership.

The new party leader will be announced Sept. 9.


4:50 p.m.

Asset manager M&G Investments has temporarily suspended trading in the shares of a property fund amid increasing uncertainty in the economy following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

M&G joined Aviva Investors and Standard Life in halting trading in their respective U.K. commercial property funds following a rapid increase in investors trying to liquidate their holdings.

The company said in a statement that “investor redemptions in the fund have risen markedly because of the high levels of uncertainty.”

The companies stopped trading to protect other investors who wished to remain in their respective funds.

The Bank of England has cited the commercial real estate market as one of the risks to the British economy. It says the sector has taken in capital from overseas and had become “stretched.”


4:20 p.m.

Treasury chief George Osborne and the leaders of Britain’s main banks are pledging to rise to the “economic challenge” that the country is facing following the vote to leave the European Union.

Osborne and the leaders of eight major institutions — including the chairmen of HSBC, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays — met in London on Tuesday as part of a concerted effort to calm markets.

The bankers seemed intent to underscore that — unlike the 2008 financial crisis — they are not at fault. The lenders say in a statement they have agreed “to make the extra capital available to support lending to U.K. businesses and households in this challenging time.”

The meeting came as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney loosened capital rules to allow banks to lend more.


3:20 p.m.

Two senior Conservative leaders have been caught off guard on an open microphone offering candid views on the party’s leadership contenders, with former Treasury chief Kenneth Clarke describing front-runner Theresa May as a “bloody difficult woman.”

May is Britain’s Home Secretary, in charge of the police and British border forces.

Clarke and former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind were speaking about those vying to replace Prime Minister David Cameron, who is resigning after losing the vote to stay in the European Union.

Clarke says “Theresa is a bloody difficult woman but you and I worked with Margaret Thatcher.” Both men laugh.

Clarke also says he doesn’t “think Andrea Leadsom or Boris Johnson actually are in favor of leaving the European Union.” Johnson, London’s former mayor, has thrown his support behind Leadsom, the energy secretary.


1:45 p.m.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says the European Union referendum campaign has unleashed “poison and hatred” in Britain. The head of the Church of England told the House of Lords Tuesday that the referendum aftermath has seen “cracks in the thin crust of the politeness and tolerance of our society.”

Welby spoke after a marked rise in abuse and vandalism directed at immigrant communities after the vote to leave the EU. He says the “remain” and “leave” campaigns had “veered over the line” into unacceptable territory at times.

The “leave” campaign was criticized during the final days of the campaign for a poster showing dark-skinned immigrants trudging toward Europe.


1:30 p.m.

Aviva Investors has suspended trading in a British property fund amid investor uncertainty following the vote to leave the European Union.

The news comes a day after financial group Standard Life moved to stop trading in a commercial property fund. That followed a rapid increase in investors trying to liquidate their holdings.

Aviva said Tuesday that “extraordinary market circumstances, which are impacting the wider industry, have resulted in a lack of immediate liquidity in the Aviva Investors Property Trust.”

Both Aviva and Standard Life say they stopped trading to protect other investors who wished to remain in the fund.

Laith Khalaf, a senior Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown says “it’s probably only a matter of time before we see other funds follow suit.”


11:25 a.m.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney says some of the risks predicted to the economy before the referendum on leaving the European Union have begun to crystalize, but that the institution will act to support jobs and growth.

The head of the British central bank made his third public appearance in 12 days on Tuesday to calm and assure the public after the seismic vote to leave the single market of some 500 million.

Carney told reporters that the bank will alter capital rules to free up to 150 billion pounds ($299 billion) in loans to households and businesses in hopes of keeping the economy ticking along.

Some have expressed concern that the economy will slip into recession amid fears of a drop in investment following the vote.


10:55 a.m.

The Bank of England says it will reduce the amount of capital banks need to hold to free up more money for lending to businesses and households following the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union.

The bank’s Financial Policy Committee said in a report Tuesday it had reduced the amount of capital banks need to have as buffers, freeing up the banks to lend as much as 150 billion pounds ($200 billion) to households and businesses.

Britain’s leaders are worried that the economy will slow down as Britons react with caution to the outcome of talks to leave the single market of some 500 million.

The central bank says that there will be a period “of uncertainty and adjustment” following the referendum and that “market and economic volatility is to be expected as this process unfolds.”


10:05 a.m.

Austria’s finance minister says he think Britain will not leave the European Union, pointing to the impact of business and market reaction to last month’s referendum vote.

Hans Joerg Schelling was quoted Tuesday as telling German daily Handelsblatt that “Britain will remain a member in the future too.” He noted the government’s unhurriedness in formally triggering the exit process and also said that “the reaction by companies and the financial market is a salutary shock for the country.”

Schelling added that there could be a “partial Brexit,” involving England leaving the EU while Scotland and Northern Ireland — which voted to remain — would stay.

All candidates to lead Britain’s Conservative Party and head the next government have said that the country will leave the EU.


9.50 a.m.

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has thrown his support behind Andrea Leadsom in the race to be Britain’s next prime minister amid the tumultuous aftermath of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

The Conservatives are holding their first round of voting Tuesday to whittle down the field in race to replace Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his intention to resign after losing the vote.

Johnson, one of the most prominent figures in the ‘leave’ campaign, says Leadsom has the ” zap, drive and determination” to lead the country.


9:40 a.m.

Top European Union officials have launched a tirade against leaders of the campaign to get Britain out of the EU, saying they devastated the country and then resigned like cowards.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told EU lawmakers Tuesday that “the Brexit heroes of yesterday are the sad Brexit heroes of today.”

He said that “Leave” campaign figureheads Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage “are not patriots. Patriots don’t resign when things get difficult, they stay.”

European People’s Party head Manfred Weber said “we don’t know where Mr. Farage is today. Perhaps he’s on an island enjoying himself.” Farage is an EU lawmaker but was not at the assembly in Strasbourg.

Weber said: “This is completely cowardly.”

Liberal bloc leader Guy Verhofstadt likened the resignations to “rats fleeing a sinking ship.”

[Source:- US news & World report]