18:35 GMT +319 September 2019
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    British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaks with the media as he arrives at an EU Foreign Ministers' meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, 18 February 2019

    Jeremy Hunt’s Wife Reveals Pet Name for Tory Leader Hopeful, Igniting Twitter

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    The Tory leadership contest is heating up, as round one left Jeremy Hunt in second place with 13% of Conservative MP votes, on the heels of pack leader Boris Johnson with 36.4%.

    Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Conservative Party leadership contender Jeremy Hunt’s wife Lucia has let slip her endearing pet name for him: Big Rice.

    Lucia Hunt revealed the name during an interview with the Mail on Sunday, as she narrated the story of the couple’s trip to her home city, Xi’an, China.
    As she was introducing her spouse to her family, her grandmother, apparently, found difficulty pronouncing the name “Jeremy”. Lucia said:

    “She would just call him the “big mi”. Mi means “rice,” so I call him “big rice”.

    Twitterati erupted with jokes and memes, which practically wrote themselves:

    Lucia, met her husband while working in Warwick; they have three children. She went on to endorse the Tory leader hopeful:

    “He is kind, he is always generous, he cares about his family and he is very strong. He never hides from challenges.”

    The Tory leadership contest is heating up, as Conservative leadership favourite Boris Johnson was taunted by rival Hunt after his conspicuous absence from a live televised debate.

    In the 90-minute Channel 4 broadcast on Sunday evening, Hunt and fellow contenders Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart faced questions from host Krishnan Guru-Murthy and a studio audience.

    The Channel had installed an empty podium on the stage in place of Boris Johnson, who declined the invitation.
    At some point during the debate Jeremy Hunt asked: “Where is Boris? If his team won’t allow him out with five fairly friendly colleagues, how is is he going to deal with 27 European countries?”

    Theresa May stepped down on 7 June as the leader of the Conservative Party, weighed down by her inability to gain MPs support for the Brexit withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the EU.

    Her resignation triggered a Tory leadership contest that originally had ten candidates, with round one on 13 June eliminating three contenders, who failed to reach the threshold of 17 votes and witnessing Boris Johnson emerge as the front-runner. Boris Johnson leads the pack with 114 votes – 36.4% of Conservative MPs; Jeremy Hunt is the second-favourite, with 13%. Michael Gove and Dominic Raab come third and fourth respectively. Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper, and Esther McVey were all eliminated after failing to get more than 5% of votes.


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