Hampshire MPs rally behind Theresa May after she is unveiled as new Conservative leader

Theresa May
Theresa May

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  • But Ukip leader in Hampshire says the move is a ‘slap in the face’ to county’s Brexit voters
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MPs have thrown their support behind the woman set to be unveiled as the country’s new prime minister.

Theresa May was ushered in as the Conservative Party’s new leader after leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom quit the race to lead the party.

It comes days after the Tory MP was criticised for claiming she would make a better PM than her rival, Mrs May, because she had children.

The move has enabled Mrs May to become the nation’s next leader – which will be formally recognised after David Cameron makes his final appearance as leader at Prime Minister’s Questions tomorrow.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘I am very pleased that Theresa May will be our new prime minister and she has my full support.

‘It is now the duty of the Conservative Party to unite behind her and give the country the leadership it needs as we negotiate our departure from the EU.’

Days like today are why people become disillusioned with politics

Cllr Christopher Wood, Hampshire Ukip leader

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery said: ‘There could not be a steadier pair of hands to give leadership and clarity of thought to the challenges the UK now faces, both in leaving the EU, and in the task of uniting the country.

‘She is someone I can speak of personally because of my time as her parliamentary private secretary during the last government.’

But the move infuriated Hampshire Ukip leader and Brexit backer Cllr Christopher Wood, who said it was a ‘behind-closed-doors stitch-up’.

He said: ‘The public will have no say over who will be our next prime minister and nor will Conservative party members. It is a thorough slap in the face to British democracy.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who backed Mrs Leadsom’s bid, said: ‘We have to look to the future to deliver the manifesto and lever all the opportunities leaving the EU brings the UK.’

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, a supporter of Mrs May, said: ‘Theresa made it clear from the start she wanted a contest, so it’s a shame there will not be one. But in terms of stability for the country, I think it’s a good outcome.’

Meanwhile, MP Angela Eagle insisted she has not embarked on a political ‘suicide mission’ as she launched her bid to topple Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

The former shadow business secretary said she could make Labour electable again after the ‘howl of pain’ expressed in the Brexit vote by people who felt they had been ignored for too long.