Chris Grayling has become the twelfth Conservative MP to signal their intent to run for leadership of the party, having chucked his hat at a mini-roundabout in Basingstoke.
The Transport Secretary was visiting the Hampshire town to officially open a newly painted mini-roundabout that will form the backbone of the Government’s flagship £2.5bn Roads to Riches scheme.
Mr Grayling was delivering a speech to local dignitaries on the history and importance of mini-roundabouts to the economy of the Brighton Hill area when he announced the decision to run.
Bystanders report that he became transfixed by the white circle laid out on the fresh black tarmacadam and stopped mid-speech as if in a trance.
Aides stepped in to help him, but the MP for Epsom and Ewell brushed them aside and resumed addressing the crowd of four or five people from the Basingstoke Roundabout Appreciation Society.
“The timely departure of Theresa May has left a hole in the centre of this country,” he said.
“It is a hole that I not only wish to fill but one that I will endeavour to dig myself out of.”
The crowd looked on with somewhat puzzled expressions as Mr Grayling continued to talk about holes and Brexit for a while, before concluding.
“So it is with great pride that I hereby throw my hat into the ring to be the next Conservative leader.”
Mr Grayling then attempted to throw a bobble hat at the roundabout, missing by several feet.