Express & Star

Region's Tory MPs back range of candidates for new PM

Conservative MPs in the region are pledging their support to a range of contenders ahead of the Tory Party leadership contest to chooses the new Prime Minister.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant

The race to find a new Conservative leader and PM, following the resignation of Boris Johnson on Thursday, has seen a number of MPs throw their hat in the ring and declare themselves as candidates for the position.

Among the names standing for the position are former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, current Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, as well as lesser-known MPs such as Tom Tugendhat.

Within the Black Country and Staffordshire, a number of MPs have been giving their opinions on who they believe should be the next leader, while also ruling themselves out of running for the job..

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said he is backing Penny Mordaunt.

He said: “I have known Penny since when she first became an MP 12 years ago and as the Government pairing whip, who organises who can take time off from voting and when, I was able to help her with her Royal Navy commission.

She is feisty, full of fun, and like me - while socially liberal - a staunch supporter of Brexit who firmly believes in the sovereignty and independence of the United Kingdom.

"She has shown herself to be a competent Government minister with a firm grasp of detail as well as being a highly skilled performer in the House of Commons chamber."

Dudley South MP Mike Wood said he was with Sajid Javid, describing him as up to the challenge.

He said: "Sajid Javid has the combination of experience, ability, judgment and integrity, as well as the plan to strengthen the economy and cut taxes, that we need.

"He is up to the challenges that Britain and the world faces, and would make a great leader and PM."

Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling offered her support to Nadhim Zahawi.

She said: "Nadhim Zahawi spearheaded the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine that was the envy of the world.

"As a fellow Midlands MP, I trust in his proven record of delivery.

"I would like to see him stand to be our next leader."

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi said he was down to a couple of names of who he would support and described what he felt the next leader should be.

He said: "My choice will have to be a true Brexiteer, be able to deal with illegals and ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights), deliver on low tax, return us as a party of law and order, be loyal, not woke and a patriot."

Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson was also keeping her cards close to her chest and listed what she wanted to see happen.

She said: "This is a leadership contest I didn't want, but I now need to do my best for the people I represent and choose the person I feel can deliver for our city.

"I will be listening to all the candidates and weighing up who will do most for Wolverhampton.

"Among other things I want to see a clear plan to help with the cost of living, a commitment to Levelling Up and no weakening of Brexit.

"I have had conversations with most declared candidates already and these will continue until the end of ballots."