ANDREA Leadsom was knocked out of the race for Tory leader yesterday despite begging MPs to vote for her because she is a woman.
Esther McVey and Mark Harper also saw their leadership hopes crash and burn as they were knocked out in the first round of votes.
Mrs Leadsom was left humiliated after her second bid to be leader flopped after she only won the backing of 10 other MPs.
Wannabe PMs had to get the backing of 17 MPs – including themselves – to make it past the first round.
Three years ago, she dramatically pulled out the Tory race after a disastrous interview in which she suggested she would be a better PM because she had kids.
Fearing defeat, Mrs Leadsom desperately tried to drum up support by firing off begging texts pleading with Tories to back her because she is a woman.
One, seen by The Sun, read: “I know you have pledged to Xxx , but would love to persuade you to vote for me in the first round.
“I do think we need to have a good choice of candidates, and I also really hope to see more women in the next round.”
Mrs Leadsom was remaining tight-lipped about who she will now back for the leader.
Ex Work and Pensions Secretary Miss McVey was also knocked out after only getting nine votes.
Her run for the top job was overshadowed by a bitter feud with her former GMTV colleagues.
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She was snubbed by telly host Lorraine Kelly live on air earlier this week, prompting pals of the MP to hit back branding GMTV telly hosts a “cabal of lefties”.
Miss McVey said she will speak to the candidates still standing and then decide who to throw her weight behind.
Mr Harper – a little known former chief whip – also failed to get over the first hurdle with just 10 votes.
Backers of the three defeated candidates told The Sun they are still deciding who to switch to.
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