‘She would certainly be a great choice’: Local MPs react to odds on Penny Mordaunt becoming the next prime minister​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt in Downing Street, London. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt in Downing Street, London. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
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MPs from across the Solent region have made their thoughts known about Theresa May’s resignation as prime minister earlier today – as well as the potential for Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt to take her place.

Theresa May announced outside 10 Downing Street that she would be stepping down as PM officially on June 7 – making her D-Day appearance in Portsmouth her last official visit as head of state.

At the time of publishing, PaddyPower has Penny Mordaunt at 22/1 to become the next prime minster.

MPs say it’s a shame that Mrs May is stepping down, but say that her replacement will need to have ministerial experience.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘Despite the incredibly difficult challenge Theresa May was given, she has shown undeniable strength, courage and resilience.

‘She has undoubtedly made some mistakes but I’m grateful for her service to our country that she has worked so passionately for.

‘I need to give it some thought when I know who’s running – but Penny would certainly be a great choice.’

Following fallout between the prime minister and her government, Havant MP Alan Mak says that the next leader will have to bring the Conservative party back together.

He said: ‘Theresa May became prime minister in challenging circumstances and I thank her for her efforts and her public service.

‘Our next leader must be a unifying force that can bring the country and party together, and have the business and ministerial experience to make a success of Brexit to boost our economy and living standards.’

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery said: ‘The Prime Minister put absolutely everything she could into delivering on the 2016 referendum and a Brexit that respected the result, but safeguarded our economy and jobs.

‘I had the honour of being her Parliamentary Private Secretary when she was Home Secretary and then Prime Minister so I saw Theresa May working at close hand. She is one of the most dedicated, honest and principled people I have ever worked with. She has been a tireless public servant who believes in doing what is right and it was quite clear from her dignified speech today that she loves her country and wants only the best for it.

‘To have ultimately failed in delivering Brexit – the most complex issue this country has faced for generations – is not something she should ever reproach herself for. I believe she delivered a withdrawal deal that was the absolutely best it could have been when it was obvious compromise was needed. I, like many others, have admired her tenacity in the face of great odds but it's right she has decided to relinquish her leadership today.

‘Moving forward, I am firmly of the view the country needs a Prime Minister who can unite the Conservative Party and foster the necessary compromise in the House of Commons to properly honour the referendum result. I voted to remain but democracy must prevail. This country has a mandate given by that referendum to leave the European Union. We must rally around a new leader to do this and get on with leaving on the very best terms possible and then turn to the other important issues this country faces.’