MPs in the area have given their public backing to candidates in the race to become the next Conservative party leader.

Following the departure of Theresa May from 10 Downing Street last week, candidates from the Conservative party have been jockeying for position to gain party backing to take on the role of prime minister.

Basingstoke’s MP Maria Miller has given her backing to Dominic Raab, who himself knows he is an underdog out of the 10 candidates who have put their name forward.

Mrs Miller introduced the Esher and Walton MP at the launch of his candidacy campaign on Monday and also appeared on BBC Two’s Newsnight on Monday evening showing her support for the candidate.

However, North East Hampshire MP Ranil Jayawardena has given his backing to one of the front runners in Boris Johnson.

According to betting website William Hill, Mr Johnson is the odds-on favourite to win the race.

On Twitter, Mr Jayawardena's team's account posted: “After a lot of thought and discussion with constituents, Ranil is backing Boris to be the next leader of the Conservative party and prime minister of the United Kingdom.”

Housing minister and North West Hampshire MP, Kit Malthouse, had previously thrown his hat in the ring to be one of the candidates put forward to become the next party leader.

However, as previously reported in the Gazette, Mr Malthouse withdrew his candidacy last week and is yet to publicly give his support to any of the remaining 10 candidates.

Over the next two weeks, Tory MPs will take part in a series of secret ballots to whittle the candidates down to a final two.

The party's members will then pick a winner in a postal ballot, with the result announced next month.