5th Jul, 2022

Meriden MP backs Rory Stewart to become new Prime Minister

Editorial Correspondent 19th Jun, 2019 Updated: 19th Jun, 2019

MERIDEN MP Caroline Spelman is supporting Rory Stewart MP to become the next Prime Minister – as the candidate fighting a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

In the EU referendum in 2016 in Solihull borough which includes Meriden, 56 per cent of constituents voted to leave.

The Tory leadership contest was triggered after Theresa May stepped down as party leader and as Prime Minister on June 7.

After Dominic Raab MP was eliminated on Tuesday (June 18), there remains only five candidates in the running to succeed her.

Dame Caroline had previously backed health secretary Matt Hancock MP but he withdrew from the race last week.

And on Monday (June 17) she took to Twitter to confirm that MP for Penrith and international development minister Mr Stewart would now receive her support.

She later told the BBC: “I think he’s a ‘what’s right for the country’ candidate and I think it’s significant that my constituency office has taken calls from my constituents who watched the TV debates on Sunday and were impressed by Rory.

“They said he struck them as a man of integrity and I think he has that reach across the younger generation of voters.

“And as a former party chairman I know that is really important. He’s different and people like what he has to say.

“He has a strong vision for this country and a very realistic one about the situation we’re in.

“Rory is an advocate for the withdrawal agreement because it allows us to leave (the European Union) in an orderly fashion.”

There was a final list of 10 candidates.

He has emerged as a ‘dark horse’ in the contest – after initially receiving the fewest votes (19) in the first ballot.

He was the big gainer in Tuesday’s second round of voting among Tory MPs with 37 votes, although he still received fewer votes than overwhelming favourite Boris Johnson (126), Jeremy Hunt (46) and Michael Gove (41).

Solihull MP Julian Knight had backed MP for Braintree James Cleverly who dropped out early on in the contest.

Since then he has praised Mr Stewart and Mr Javid.

Before the first round, he had launched a poll among constituents asking them who would receive their support, which he said could help him make his decision on voting.

MPs have been voting in rounds to whittle down the list of candidates to only two, with one dropping out at the end of each round.

After MPs have decided the two final contestants, the matter will be put to Conservative Party members in a postal ballot.

Party officials hope the new leader and PM will be elected by the end of July.

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