North Herts and Beds MPs take sides as vote for new Conservative Party leader gets underway

Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries is backing Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative Party leadership contest to

Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries is backing Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative Party leadership contest today - Credit: Archant

Amid the post-Brexit political fallout, North Herts and Bedfordshire MPs are taking sides in the first round of the Conservative Party leadership election to replace David Cameron after his resignation as Prime Minister.

Conservative candidates vote today for their choice of five candidates in the first ballot, which will whittle them down to two.

It is understood Home Secretary Theresa May is the favourite among MPs heading into the contest, but none of our area’s MPs have backed her so far.

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley has indicated he will vote for Andrea Leadsom.

He backed the Leave campaign opposed by Mr Cameron, but expressed his disappointment at the PM’s departure, tweeting: ‘Sorry PM has resigned – had hoped he would stay on working with competent and committed ministers to achieve smooth and speedy departure from EU’.

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Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries threw her weight behind Mrs Leadsom last week and is appearing on the Jeremy Vine show today 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’.

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North East Herts MP Oliver Heald is expected to cast his vote in favour of favourite Theresa May although he is yet to take sides officially.

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt and Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland are yet to make their intentions clear.

Meanwhile local Labour organisations have watched their party crippled by divisions between leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is clinging on to his position as leader, and members of the parliamentary party, most of whom want to oust him.

The Stevenage Old Town branch of the party passed a motion on Monday supporting Mr Corbyn, though it is understood the party is very divided over his position.

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