ONE OF the hopefuls in the contest to become the new Conservative party leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was in Hampshire on Sunday morning (July 31).

Rishi Sunak spoke to fellow party members at Winchester Golf Academy, at an event organised by Winchester MP Steve Brine. 

Posting to Facebook, Mr Brine said: "It was a masterclass in positive vision and grasp of the detail I want from my Prime Minister. I reminded everyone we have a responsibility to ask as many other non-party members as possible who they prefer before we vote and how crucial it is to remember we (the people who work with the candidates every day) consistently put Rishi ahead in our ballot. We did that for a reason."

Earlier in the contest, Steve Brine voiced his supoort for candidate Jeremy Hunt, saying: "I’m thrilled that we’ve got Jeremy Hunt in the race again...we need a leader who can win back the voters the conservatives have lost.”

However, Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi were knocked out of the race to replace Boris Johnson in the first round of votes, which also saw Rishi Sunak take an early lead.

Allies of Rishi Sunak have insisted “there’s everything to play for” in the race for No 10, dismissing claims that he is now lagging far behind rival Liz Truss.

The Tory leadership hopefuls have unveiled a ream of new policies on a crunch weekend to win over party members before ballots start landing on their doorsteps this week.

Both camps have stressed that the contest is not yet determined despite surveys of the voting Tory grassroots consistently putting Ms Truss ahead with a double-digit lead.