MPs speak of support for Theresa May as PM after she wins second ballot

MPs have spoken of their support for Theresa May to become Britain's second female prime minister.

Thursday, 7th July 2016, 8:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:37 pm
Home Secretary Theresa May

The majority of MPs in south east Hampshire have backed May in the contest and that support was reflected today as the Home Secretary garnered 199 votes in the second-round ballot.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who has been backed by Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, won the backing of 84 of her fellow MPs.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who had been supported by Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, was eliminated from the contest, taking just 46 votes.

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Mrs May was backed by Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds and Havant MP Alan Mak.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘I’m a big fan of Michael Gove – he’s my boss at the Ministry of Justice – but from day one I’ve supported Theresa May.

‘We need to make sure the country gets the best possible Brexit deal, and to keep the country on an even keel – it’s not just about Brexit, it’s about running the country successfully.

‘Whatever happens, I am excited that the next prime minister will be a woman.’

When asked about Mrs May not being a Brexiteer, she added: ‘Theresa has been clear she will have a Brexiteer to lead negotiations – and she is clear that out means out.’

Mr Mak said: ‘I have supported Theresa May from day one and will continue to support her.

‘She is a strong and experienced candidate who will guide the country through challenging times ahead.’

But Ms Mordaunt said: ‘She (Andrea) is the person that can bring the country together.

‘People are just getting to know her, but when they get to know her, they will like what they see.’

Mrs Drummond said: ‘I am supporting Theresa May in her campaign and have heard about how she is revered in her constituency.’

Mr Mak said he was hoping to bring Mrs May to south Hampshire.

The prime minister will be chosen by an electorate of around 150,000 Conservative Party members.