British Home Secretary Theresa May won the first round of voting to decide a successor to Prime Minister David Cameron, the Conservative Party said on Tuesday, as former defense secretary Liam Fox was eliminated from the contest.
May was one of the only candidates that did not campaign for Britain to leave the EU.
The vote among Conservative lawmakers saw interior minister May win 165 votes. Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, once a debt trader at Barclays, came in second with 66 votes. Defense Secretary Michael Gove was in third with 48 votes.
Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb won 34 votes, putting Fox in last place on 16 and ending his leadership bid.
Late Tuesday, Crabb pulled out of the race and endorsed front-runner May as the list of candidates was reduced to three.
"I'll be lending my wholehearted support to Theresa May," Crabb said, describing her as the only candidate who could unite the party and lead a strong and cohesive government.