As you are aware, currently there are three remaining candidates for leadership: Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May. These have been voted on by Conservative Members of Parliament, and will be voted on again until only two candidates remain for Conservative Party members to consider.
I have considered the candidates thoroughly, and I have decided to support Theresa May in her bid to become the next Prime Minister. I met with Theresa recently to discuss the concern many constituents raised following the EU Referendum and she understands many have reservations about her leadership due to her decision to vote to Remain. However, I believe that this is amongst many qualities that make her the ideal candidate to unify the UK following the divisive nature of the referendum. Theresa made it clear that while she did back Remain on balance, she also said that “the sky would not fall in if we left”. It is also important to note that many of those who wanted to Remain in the EU were concerned over the lack of an exit plan therefore I am pleased that Theresa has pledged to have a clear exit strategy in place with her Government before triggering Article 50.
Furthermore, when Theresa announced her candidacy for leadership, she made it clear that Brexit means just that, and that no attempts will be made to remain or re-join the EU. She has pledged to create a new Government Department to focus solely on the process of withdrawal from the EU to allow for significant expertise and a consistent approach, led by a senior Secretary of State who campaigned to Leave the EU. I believe Theresa has provided an innovative solution to the concerns of many due to her decision to back the Remain campaign.
Additionally, Theresa is shortly to become the longest serving Home Secretary in history, having served for six consecutive years since the 2010 General Election. As Home Secretary, Theresa has gained a wealth of experience and expertise in both international and home affairs, which makes her extremely well suited to the position of Prime Minister. She has also held a number of senior positions, including Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment, for transport, Local Government and the Regions, for Family, for Culture Media and Sport as well as being Shadow Leader of the House and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities. This gives her a wealth of experience in a broad range of Government Departments which will therefore allow her to make strong leadership decisions.
I was also very pleased to hear her talk so passionately about tackling social injustice such as she did in her role as Home Secretary. I am confident that Theresa May is our best candidate for Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. She has the character, resolve and intelligence to secure the best possible withdrawal from the EU while ensuring our country continues to prosper and improve.
To find out more about Theresa's candidacy, you can read her statement here: http://www.theresa2016.co.uk/announcement