Underdog Tugendhat new favourite with the public after TV debate

Tom Tugendhat insists he's 'going to win' the Tory leadership

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The Foreign Affairs Committee chairman was seen as the underdog in the contest, but a poll by Opinium suggested he had impressed TV viewers.

Thirty-six per cent of respondents thought he had performed best, placing him far ahead of Rishi Sunak (25 per cent), Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch (both 12 per cent) and Liz Truss (six per cent).

This contrasted with the results of the second round of the Tory leadership race, which saw Mr Tugendhat win the support of the lowest number of MPs (32), behind Ms Badenoch (49), Ms Truss (64), Ms Mordaunt (83) and Mr Sunak (101).

Mr Tugendhat stamped on suggestions he is on the verge of quitting, telling the Sunday Express: “We have to restore trust in our party and in politics, to unite the country and offer a positive vision for the future. We have to cut taxes and invest in our Armed Forces and public services.

“We have to deliver on Brexit and protect our borders. I have never retreated and that is why I am determined to fight on in this contest and champion Conservative values.”

A spokeswoman for his campaign said: “Tom has only just started introducing himself to the country. Three days ago, he was basically unknown. People see him and they like him. It is clear that the only way for him is up.”

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