North Herts and Beds MPs cast votes for new Conservative Party leader

Sir Oliver Heald backed Theresa May in the contest

Sir Oliver Heald backed Theresa May in the contest - Credit: PA Photos

Following the post Brexit political fallout, our MPs have taken sides in the first round of the Conservative Party leadership election to replace David Cameron.

Home Secretary Theresa May won the first round of the contest yesterday.

Mrs May, who began the race as the favourite, got 165 votes. Energy minister Andrea Leadsom came second with 66, Michael Gove got 48 votes and Stephen Crabb had 34. Liam Fox was eliminated from the race, coming last with 16 votes.

Mr Crabb has also since dropped out of the contest.

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald was the only one of Comet country’s Conservative MPs to back Mrs May.


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He said: “I have seen Theresa May in action within government and she is tough, shrewd and experienced and has a vision for Britain that we should have a government for everyone.

“We’ve got some big challenges including negotiating our exit from the EU and I think she’s the right person to lead us through them.”

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Sir Oliver, who had favoured remaining in the EU, said he hoped the next Prime Minister will be able to conduct informal negotiations before Britain leaves the EU.

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley voted for Andrea Leadsom.

He said: “It is crucial that the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest is someone who is decisive, determined and experienced in business and the complexities of the European issues so that they can press ahead straight away.

“To my mind, the one candidate who meets all those criteria is Andrea Leadsom, who has the bonus of being popular across the party – which she will need to unite.

“I was asked to pick the star among the large and unusually talented influx of new MPs in 2010 and she was my choice as the brightest.”

Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries also threw her weight behind Mrs Leadsom last week and appeared on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 explaining her reasons why.

Ms Dorries tweeted: “Without doubt, Andrea Leadsom leader launch was the sunniest, most positive and hopeful of the lot.”

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland also backed Andrea Leadsom.

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt has not declared his favoured candidate and announced yesterday he is to retire from his frontbench position as minister of state for community and social care before the cabinet is reshuffled in September. He will remain as a backbench MP.

The second round of the ballot opens tomorrow. A final pair of candidates will be left in the race by Tuesday and the final choice will be made by 150,000 members of the Conservative Party.

The new leader will take the office of Prime Minister on September 9.

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