Victoria Atkins and Gareth Davies have become the first Lincolnshire MPs to publicly voice their support for Rishi Sunak as the next Conservative party leader – as Kemi Baednoch was voted out of the race.
The MPs for Louth & Horncastle and Grantham & Stamford both spoke out in support of former Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s leadership bid on Tuesday, as the latest round of voting for new Tory leader came to a halt.
The vote is to find a new leader of the Conservative party, following the resignation of Boris Johnson under a mountain of pressure from cabinet members stepping down to call for him to go.
He will serve as Prime Minister until a new party leader is appointed on September 5, and these rounds of voting are helping to find out who the final candidates will be. So far the likes of Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi and Suella Braverman have failed in their bids for power.
Kemi Badenoch became the latest Conservative hopeful to be knocked out of the race on Tuesday, with Sunak, Penny Morduant and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss remaining.
Badenoch received support from Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Caroline Johnson, who said her “Conservative ideas, clear communication and problem solving approach is exactly what we need”.
This was echoed by South Holland and The Deepings’ John Hayes, who also backed Kemi Badenoch, but both will need a new team to side with following her elimination from the race.
Of those candidates, Louth & Horncastle’s Victoria Atkins has said she will be backing Rishi Sunak because he is “the right leader to restore trust, rebuild the economy, reunite the country and win the next election.”
Mrs Atkins said: “Driving down crime and strengthening the rights of victims must be the priority of the next Prime Minister, which is why I’m backing Rishi Sunak and his new package of measures to create a safer Britain.”
As for Gareth Davies, the Grantham & Stamford MP is also cheerleading for Sunak, saying he has a ‘proven track record’ to manage the economy following his role as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Boris Johnson during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grantham and Stamford MP @GarethDavies_MP is backing @RishiSunak and says he has a proven track record to manage the economy. Latest ballot result in 30 mins. More on @bbcemt pic.twitter.com/yFfqrMkl3L
— Tony Roe (@tonyroe) July 19, 2022
Sunak is currently in a very strong position, having secured 118 votes in the last ballot, some 26 clear of nearest competitor Penndy Morduant and 32 ahead of Liz Truss.
Another candidate will be voted out by Wednesday night to leave just two candidates, ahead of the winner and new Prime Minister being announced on September 5.