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Stamford, Rutland, and East Northamptonshire MPs share who they are backing in Conservative Party leadership contest

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MPs have revealed who they're backing to take over from Boris Johnson as prime minister.

A leadership battle has started within The Conservative Party after Mr Johnson quit the top job last week, but announced he would stay until a new prime minister is found.

His resignation was prompted by dozens of ministers quitting, starting with chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid, following Mr Johnson's handling of the Chris Pincher scandal.

Who will replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader?
Who will replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader?

Mr Johnson this morning refused to say who he would back to replace him, saying it could be damaging.

But local MPs have outlined who they will back.

Stamford and Grantham MP Gareth Davies took to Twitter to back Rishi Sunak, saying: "Respected at home and abroad, Rishi has the strength, ability and vision to take our country forward. He is a proven leader who should be our next Prime Minister."

Tory leadership contest (57892148)
Tory leadership contest (57892148)

Meanwhile, Rutland MP Alicia Kearns is giving her support to Penny Mordaunt.

Mrs Kearns said: "Service to our nation is in her blood, and I believe wholeheartedly that she would unite our Party and great nation with her genuine honesty, sense of duty and detailed plan for the country she loves.

"Above all, I would be proud to stand behind her and I know she would reflect the honest, effective and down to earth politics that I want to see in Westminster.

"I believe she can give communities across Rutland, Melton, the Vale and Harborough villages peace of mind, and solve the serious problems we face as communities in a responsible and fair-minded way."

Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies
Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies

Meanwhile, Corby and East Northamptonshire MP Tom Pursglove, new minister for policing, urged Priti Patel to consider standing in the race.

He said: "During my time as a UK Home Office Minister, I have witnessed first hand Priti Patel's ability to deliver solutions to the most complex problems facing our country - from the Rwanda deal to stop the small boats, to getting serious violence and burglary down.

"Her tenacity, leadership and competence would make her a brilliant Prime Minister and I am urging her to consider standing in this leadership contest."

Rutland MP Alicia Kearns
Rutland MP Alicia Kearns

South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes and North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara have not yet revealed who they are backing in the race.

MP for East Northants Tom Pursglove
MP for East Northants Tom Pursglove

A crowded field of contenders so far includes:

  • Rishi Sunak - was previously chancellor of the exchequer until July 5 when he quit in protest at Mr Johnson’s leadership
  • Penny Mordaunt - currently trade minister
  • Liz Truss - foreign secretary
  • Nadhim Zahawi - current chancellor and former education secretary
  • Sajid Javid - former chancellor and was health secretary until he resigned on July 5
  • Grant Shapps - currently transport secretary
  • Tom Tugendhat - never held ministerial office but chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Suella Braverman - current attorney general
  • Jeremy Hunt - former foreign secretary, health secretary and culture secretary
  • Kemi Badenoch - resigned as equalities minister and a minister in the Levelling Up department on July 6.
  • Rehman Chishti - appointed as a junior foreign minister on July 8 and was Tory vice-chairperson in 2018

The process to replace Mr Johnson continues apace, with the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs electing a new executive committee today (Monday), before drawing up a timetable for the leadership contest.

An announcement on the schedule for the leadership campaign is expected to follow later in the evening.

The process could be tightened so the final two candidates can be voted for by Tory MPs before the Commons enters the summer recess on July 21.

That would give the chosen pair the summer to campaign for the backing of Conservative Party members, who ultimately select the next prime minister.

Mr Johnson was unwilling to discuss in detail the events of recent days, instead looking ahead to his final few weeks in number 10.

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