RORY Stewart has been knocked out of the Tory leadership race after the third round of voting by Conservative MPs.

He received just 27 votes, 10 fewer than in the last round. Four Tory hopefuls remain in the running.

Boris Johnson once again received the most votes, followed by Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid.

The former foreign secretary had the backing on 143 MPs, Hunt had 54, Gove 51 and Javid 38.

After being eliminated, Stewart tweeted: "I am so moved & inspired by the support I have received over the last few weeks – it has given me a new faith in politics, a new belief in our country. I didn't get enough MPs to believe today - but they will. I remain deeply committed to you and to this country. #RoryWalksOn"

Foreign Secretary Hunt also responded to the lasts vote on social media.

"Three times now MPs have chosen me as the person best-paced to take on Boris,” he tweeted.

“If I make it to the final I will put my heart & soul into giving him the contest of his life: in politics today the unexpected often happens. The stakes too high to allow anyone to sail through untested."

After topping the ballot for a third time, Johnson tweeted: "Thank you once again to friends and colleagues for your support in the third ballot – especially on my birthday! We've come a long way but we have much further to go."

Javid added: "Delighted to make it through to the final day of MP voting. Grateful for the support of many excellent colleagues. We can do this! #TeamSaj #BrexitAndBeyond

"Thank you @RoryStewartUK for the positive impact you have had on this campaign. You've injected it with real humility, authenticity, and pragmatism. Like many I look forward to seeing the contribution you will make to our party and the country in the future."