LEADERSHIP hopeful Andrea Leadsom’s decision to quit her bid to become prime minister has been called ‘sad’.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said she had great respect for Mrs Leadsom despite supporting Theresa May.
In a statement Ms Dinenage said: ‘It is sad that Andrea Leadsom has decided to quit the leadership race today.
‘Although I have supported Theresa May throughout the leadership race I do have great respect for Andrea and like her enormously.
‘I understand that Conservative Party members will be disappointed they didn’t get to vote.
‘I know Theresa herself did not want a “coronation”.
‘However, I am confident the party understands the importance of getting behind the remaining candidate and moving forward in the national interest with stability, clarity and certainty.
‘Subject to approval by the party board, I welcome the confirmation of Theresa May as the sole candidate to be the next leader of the party.
‘I strongly believe that Theresa’s wealth of experience and competency in office makes her ready to be prime minister from day one.
‘She is the person to unite our party and the country and get Britain the best possible deal as she leads us out of the EU.’
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt had backed Mrs Leadsom’s efforts to become the future Tory boss and was disappointed by the u-turn.
She said: ‘I felt it was important to have a democratic contest and know many will be disappointed Andrea is not running.
‘I would like to thank all her supporters for their efforts.
‘Now we have to look to the future to deliver the manifesto and lever all the opportunities leaving the EU brings the UK.’
Theresa May is now set to become the nation’s next prime minster.
As well as leading the UK, the former home secretary will also be responsible for negotiating a deal with European leaders for Britain to leave the EU.
Havant MP Alan Mak felt confident she could deliver on this.
Speaking to The News this afternoon, he said: ‘Theresa May will be an outstanding prime minister, who will unite the Conservatives and the country.
‘She will provide the strong, experienced leadership Britain needs in these challenging times.
‘From negotiating the best deal for Britain with Europe to strengthening our economy and boosting life chances, Theresa May provides the effective leadership our country needs.
‘That’s why I backed her campaign from day one, and why she will be an excellent prime minister from day one.’