Last Friday, the Prime Minister, announced her resignation. She agreed a timetable to leave with Sir Graham Brady, the Chairman of the 1922 backbench committee which will commence on 7th June 2019. A leadership contest will then take place to determine who succeeds her as Leader of the Conservative Party and ultimately becomes the next Prime Minister. This process will involve Conservative MPs selecting their two preferred candidates through a series of votes which will then be put to Conservative Party members to make the final decision. It is anticipated this process will be complete by mid-July, allowing a new Prime Minister to be in position by the summer.
The Prime Minister’s resignation speech was both dignified and conciliatory and she was correct that delivering Brexit was always going to be challenging. However, having repeatedly committed to lead the UK out of the EU on 29th March 2019, she lost the respect of many of those who voted for Brexit when she failed to do so. Her subsequent announcement that there would be a vote by MPs on whether a second referendum should be held, was not in keeping with the manifesto that I, or my colleagues stood on in the 2017 General Election. Having lost the support of her party and cabinet, it was right that she made the decision to resign.
Brexit needs a fresh approach, with a new negotiating team and the country needs to be led by someone committed to delivering a genuine Brexit.
I will be supporting Dominic Raab in the leadership contest. I was his Parliamentary Private Secretary during his time as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and I have no doubt that he has the ability and attributes necessary to be an excellent Prime Minister. I believe he has a clear vision for Brexit and for the future of the UK outside the EU. There will be many others who will join the race over the coming days and we will see which of these candidates will shine during the contest and which will fail to win much support. It’s going to be an interesting few weeks!