Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom said she was “absolutely delighted” to have made it to the final two in an all-female Conservative leadership contest as she arrived for a charity event in Northampton this evening with Boris Johnson.
Speaking to a huddled press pack as she entered the Royal and Derngate for an event raising money for local charities The Hope Centre and Norpip, Mrs Leadsom said she was excited at the prospect of facing Theresa May in a party membership vote.
She said: “Theresa has obviously done fantastically well and my commiserations go to Michael (Gove) but I am absolutely delighted with the result today.”
When asked whether she thought she had a chance, the 53-year-old said: “We’ll see.”
And on the prospect of being the second female Prime Minister, she said: “It is very exciting its great to be on an all-female shortlist with no positive discrimination or anything, isn’t that fantastic?”
Shortly afterwards, the evening’s host , Boris Johnson arrived at the theatre, amid a heckle of “shame on you Bozza” from an onlooker.
He said: “it’s great news, the Conservatives are about to produce a female Prime Minister for the second time in history showing we’re not only the greatest political party, the most long lasting political party, but also the only political party that has produced two female Prime Ministers.
“And it is a great achievement by Andrea Leadsom, a stunning achievement.
“I think she is going to provide exactly the right kind of positive, optimistic and confident leadership that this country needs.”
The black tie event this evening, entitled Bubbles with Boris, saw both Mrs Leadsom and Mr Johnson speak on the importance of the two local charities.
Northampton Hope Centre provides a support service for people who are homeless or have experienced severe disadvantages and Norpip supports parents with young families experiencing difficulties in building a relationship.
Mrs Leadsom, in launching her leadership campaign on Monday, said her tenure would have a strong focus on early years development.