UK's Rishi Sunak endorsed by deputy PM Raab and rival Shapps

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LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - Rishi Sunak's campaign to be Britain's next prime minister was endorsed on Tuesday by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and transport minister Grant Shapps, who ditched his own leadership bid to back him.

"I know that Rishi has got what it takes. He's got what it takes to provide the leadership that we need to steer the country through tough economic times," Raab said, introducing Sunak at his campaign launch event.

Shapps announced on Twitter he was abandoning his bid, saying Sunak had the "competence and experience" to lead the country.

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Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Alistair Smout, writing by William James; editing by Michael Holden

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