The next Prime Minister: here's who Portsmouth, Fareham, and Havant MPs are backing
The MPs for constituencies in Havant, Fareham, and Portsmouth have thrown their support behind the candidates they believe should be the next Prime Minister.
Both Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for Defence and MP for Portsmouth North, and Alan Mak, MP for Havant, backed Jeremy Hunt, the current Foreign Secretary.
Speaking to reporters, Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The next leader of the Conservative Party has one hell of a shift.
‘They have to deliver Brexit swiftly, orderly and well.’
Ms Mordaunt said she was confident Mr Hunt could bring a ‘divided nation’ together.
Alan Mak released a series of messages on Twitter showing his support for the MP for South West Surrey.
In one, with the hashtag ‘ItHasToBeHunt’, he said: ‘As a deal-maker & tech entrepreneur Jeremy will deliver Brexit, increase investment in our schools & Armed Forces and build a high-tech economy.’
In his speech announcing his candidacy, Mr Hunt proposed cutting corporation tax from 19% to 12.5%.
Suella Braverman, MP for Fareham, made media appearances to support her preferred candidate, Dominic Raab, the former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
She said: ‘We need to deliver Brexit as a priority, and I worked with him in the Department for Exiting the European Union.
‘So I have seen first hand how he has negotiated with the EU in a tough way.’
As well as saying he was a ‘Brexiteer you can rely on,’ Mr Raab announced that as Prime Minister he would cut National Insurance contributions for some of the country’s lowest paid workers.
Each candidate required support from eight MPs by 5pm yesterday, with ten candidates meeting the threshold.
They include both Mr Hunt and Mr Raab, as well as Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock, Mark Harper, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey, and Rory Stewart.
On Thursday, party MPs will cast a series of secret votes, ending when two candidates remain.
The next PM will then be chosen by party members, meaning at present fewer than 200,000 people will be eligible to vote.
The result will be announced in the week beginning Monday July 22.