Environment Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed he will formally enter the Conservative leadership race.

Speaking to the Press Association from his London home, the prominent Brexiteer said he will join an already crowded field after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and ex-Cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Andrea Leadsom threw their hats into the ring.

He said: "I can confirm that I will be putting my name forward to be prime minister of this country.

"I believe that I'm ready to unite the Conservative and Unionist Party, ready to deliver Brexit, and ready to lead this great country."

As the Tory battle for Downing Street intensifies, Gove's intervention is likely to cause concern to current front-runner Boris Johnson.

A spectacular fall out between the two former allies in the 2016 leadership contest helped destroy both men's chances of the top job.

Gove is posing as a self-styled "unity candidate".