SUSSEX Conservative MPs have begun to get involved in the party’s leadership contest, with one being touted as a possible candidate.
A total of 11 candidates have come forward to replace Boris Johnson after he resigned last week, including former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
Lewes MP and Health Secretary Maria Caulfield has announced her support for former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, calling him “the best candidate” to boost the economy and bring down inflation.
She said: “I want us to have an experienced and hard-working leader who shares the values of my constituents.
“We have a lot to do to fight inflation and stimulate the economy and Rishi is the best candidate for us.”
— Maria Caulfield MP (@mariacaulfield) July 10, 2022
Mr Sunak has promised to restore confidence in politics, rebuild the economy and reunite the country if he is elected party leader and prime minister.
Crawley MP Henry Smith has endorsed Attorney General Suella Braverman as the next prime minister, vowing to tackle illegal immigration and cut taxes.
He said: “I support Suella because she believes in reaping the benefits of Brexit, keeping our borders secure and recovering our economy with low taxes.”
I support Suella Braverman as Conservative Party leader and our next Prime Minister because she believes in reaping the benefits of Brexit, securing our borders and achieving a low tax return for our economy. pic.twitter.com/Nja751T80h
— Henry Smith MP 🇬🇧 (@HenrySmithUK) July 11, 2022
Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley has backed former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, while Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell is backing Trade Secretary and Royal Naval reservist Penny Mordaunt as party leader and Prime Minister.
Ms Ansell said: “She has the experience to take the lead and the qualities to take people with her. I have great respect for the pivotal role Penny has played as Paymaster General in the pandemic and she has been brilliant as Minister for Coastal Communities.”
🇬🇧 It’s Prime Minister @PennyMordaunt To me.
She has the experience to take the lead and the qualities to take people with her.
I have great respect for the pivotal role Penny has played in the pandemic as Paymaster General and she has been brilliant as Minister for Coastal Communities. pic.twitter.com/Zsq28FKBcc
— Caroline Ansell (@Caroline_Ansell) July 10, 2022
It has also been reported that Chichester MP Gillian Keegan may also be considering running for Tory leader and Prime Minister.
The Argus could not confirm this and Ms Keegan was asked for comment.
However, East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has ruled himself out of the leadership race, responding to a tweet proposing becoming Prime Minister with a laughing emoji. It’s unclear who he will endorse for the top job.
— Tim Loughton MP 🇺🇦 (@timloughton) July 7, 2022
Rehman Chishti, Foreign Secretary and MP Gillingham and Rainham, has also thrown his hat in the ring but has yet to be backed by one of his Conservative peers.
The MP, who ran as Labor candidate at Horsham in 2005, said the country needed a “fresh start” with lower taxes and a smaller state.
The competition is expected to be hotly contested with no contestant seen as the favorite to win.
Former Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove has announced his support for Kemi Badenoch’s bid for party leader and prime minister. The University of Sussex alumni and MPs for Saffron Walden have said she would “revitalize the case for free speech, free markets and the institutions that defend a free people”.
Badenoch, the former Equality Secretary, previously criticized the treatment of Professor Kathleen Stock, who resigned as a lecturer at Sussex University after being accused of transphobia.
Speaking to Sky News last year, she said: “I don’t think she should lose her job. I think she has every right to hold on to her beliefs. I think she’s probably in step with the majority of the population.”
Other candidates are expected to announce their plans to run in the coming days, including Home Secretary Priti Patel.
A new Conservative Party leader and prime minister is expected to take office in mid-September.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20270700.sussex-tory-mps-weigh-leadership-contest/?ref=rss Sussex Tory MPs take part in leadership contest