Conservative MPs are today casting their votes in a private ballot for the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. There are five candidates: Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May. Once these candidates are whittled down to two, the members of the Conservative Party will select which of these individuals becomes leader of my party and, therefore, Prime Minister. This process must occur by 9 September 2016. Until this time, David Cameron remains as our Prime Minister and I am very sorry that he will not be at the helm for longer.
Having only been an MP for a year, and not being the type of person who spent time in the Westminster Village beforehand, I have looked at each of the candidates and asked myself who would have the experience, leadership and life skills, respect and gravitas to lead the civil service teams in negotiating the best deal for the UK as we leave the EU as well as delivering the manifesto programme I was elected upon? In particular, which of these candidates would have the skills and experience to face down the EU institutions and EU members and stand firm for our red-lines in negotiations? Having posed these questions, I came to my conclusion that of all the excellent candidates presented, Theresa May has the attributes to lead our party and country in these difficult times.
I do not take the view that the next Prime Minister should have voted to leave the EU in the referendum. The most important aspect to me is that the next Prime Minister is best able to get the powers back to the UK from the EU. The public have given Government and MPs the instructions to leave the EU, now we need to make sure we have the best person in place to deliver the goods. On this basis, I have today cast my vote for Theresa May and I hope that she will become our next Prime Minister.