Who’s got backing of Northamptonshire’s MPs in battle to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister

Locals pick from 11 candidates who want top job

Monday, 11th July 2022, 9:02 am
Updated Monday, 11th July 2022, 9:02 am
Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer is backing Kemi Beadenoch (left) in the leadership contest, while Andrea Leadsom says Penny Mordaunt (right) is her choice for PM
Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer is backing Kemi Beadenoch (left) in the leadership contest, while Andrea Leadsom says Penny Mordaunt (right) is her choice for PM

Two local MPs are lining up in opposite corners supporting different colleagues in the battle to be new Prime Minister.

Northampton South’s Andrew Lewer is backing former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader.

Dame Andrea Leadsom told her South Northamptonshire constituents on Sunday (July 10) that trade minister Penny Mordaunt is her choice.

Northampton’s other MP, Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis, has yet to publicly declare his preference from the 11 candidates announced so far.

Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris says he will remain neutral throughout the contest as Conservative party chief whip.

Mr Lewer tweeted: “Integrity. Intelligence. Instinct. Industriousness. Kemi Badenoch demonstrates all of these qualities and that is why I am supporting her for leader and PM.”

Ms Badenoch was one of five ministers whose joint resignations from the Government on Wednesday prompted the Northampton South MP to join calls for the PM to go.

Mr Lewer said: “These are five of the most talented people in the whole Government. The PM must resign.”

Less than 24 hours later, Mr Johnson confirmed he would be stepping down after 60 members quit government or party positions.

Dame Andrea was among candidates to be Tory leader in 2016 but withdrew before the final round of voting, leaving Theresa May elected unopposed.

She said: “When selecting our next leader is is so important that we pick someone who has the values, drive and conviction of their beliefs to move our country forward.

"Having worked with Penny over a number of years I have absolutely no doubt that she is the right person to unite the party and deliver on the mandate we have.“Penny will unite our party, is acceptable to Tory faithful, will attract new and young voters and take our country forward… and she is by far the opponent Labour Party fear most.”

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Ms Mordaunt, currently ranked second favourite in the race behind former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, has pledged an immediate 50 percent cut in VAT on fuel.

Elsewhere, Kettering MP Philip Hollobone is supporting attorney general Suella Braverman while Corby’s Tom Pursglove backed Priti Patel — even though the home secretary has yet to official confirm she is standing.

Wellingborough MP Peter Bone is yet to endorse any candidate.