Kit Malthouse has pulled out of the Tory leadership race.
His withdrawal brings the total number of MPs currently vying for the position down to 11, after Brexit minister James Cleverly also stood aside earlier on Tuesday.
Mr Malthouse announced his decision on Twitter and said: “I have decided to withdraw from the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Thank you to all those who have supported me.”
The housing minister and MP for North West Hampshire said he thinks there is “an appetite for this contest to be over quickly”.
In a statement, he said: “When I announced my intention to seek the leadership of the Conservative Party, I did so believing that I could make a real difference in delivering a Brexit that would command the support of the House of Commons.”
He then referred to his political career and “20 years in front line politics” as a councillor, deputy mayor, MP and a minister.
Mr Malthouse said that background was what made him want to lead but also influenced his decision to pull from the race.
“That experience has also made me a realist and the last few days have demonstrated that there is an appetite for this contest to be over quickly and for the nation to have a new leader in place as soon as possible.
“As such, it seems right to me that I withdraw my candidature and wish those remaining the very vest, always recognising there are going to be very challenging times ahead.”
He did not immediately outline support for another candidate.
Mr Malthouse’s withdrawal came as the 1922 Committeeof Conservative backbenchers agreed to change the rules for leadership elections to quickly eliminate candidates with little support.
Candidates will need to win five per cent of votes, 16 Tory MPs, in the first ballot and then 10 per cent, 32 MPs, in the second in order to progress.
Once Conservative MPs have chosen the final two candidates, the new leader will be chosen by all members of the party.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant said in a tweet: “It is hoped the final two will be chosen by the end of next week and a new PM will be in place by the end of July at the latest.”