October 24, 2022 6.06 pm This story is over 18 months old

New PM Rishi Sunak receives warm welcome from Lincolnshire MPs

Sunak is the first Hindu UK Prime Minister in history

By Local Democracy Reporter

Rishi Sunak’s Lincolnshire MP supporters have been quick to welcome the new Prime Minister into his role, as the Conservatives seek to put behind the chaos of Liz Truss’ 45 day premiership.

Rishi Sunak is the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, after he won the Conservative leadership race unchallenged on Monday, thanks to closest challengers Boris Johnson and Penny Morduant withdrawing from the contest.

The leadership contest was called following the resignation of Liz Truss after just 45 days in charge, and Sunak’s appointment means that there has now been five Prime Ministers in six years.

He is set to face similar criticism to that of Truss, due to not having the public mandate of Boris Johnson, who led the Tory party to a large majority in the 2019 General Election.

Sunak has become the first British-Asian to hold the top job in national politics, and he amassed the public vocal support of a large number of his fellow Conservative MPs, five of which were from Greater Lincolnshire constituencies.

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Great Grimsby MP Lia Nici (Conservative)

Great Grimsby MP Lia Nici was quick to welcome Rishi Sunak into his new role at the helm of the party, putting aside recent allegiances to Boris Johnson in the process. Nici was one of five Greater Lincolnshire MPs to endorse a return to Downing Street for Johnson.

She said: “I extend the warmest congratulations to Rishi Sunak on his election as Leader of the Conservative Party. He will have my wholehearted support as he takes up the heavy responsibility of Prime Minister of the UK.”

Gainsborough MP Edward Leigh.

Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, also backed Boris Johnson in recent days, but has since taken to social media to welcome Sunak as the new Prime Minister.

He “urged” fellow MPs to unite behind Rishi Sunak and “get on with the work of the government”, after months of turmoil, changes at the top and scandals seemingly around every corner.

Sir Edward: “I look forward to working with Rishi Sunak. The country is facing many challenges. I urge my fellow MPs to unite behind Rishi so that we can deliver the people’s priorities and get on with the work of government. That is what voters expect of us and that is what we must do.”

MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman.

Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, had not publicly voiced his backing for a candidate before Sunak was announced as Prime Minister – but he backed the former Chancellor in the last leadership race, so it came as little surprise when he offered his endorsement on Monday afternoon.

Mr Warman took to social media to say: “Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on his appointment as the leader of the Conservative Party.

“I look forward to supporting him and his Government as we address the vital challenges around the cost of living, the economy and energy security.

“I know that he will continue to be a staunch supporter of Ukraine against Putin’s illegal war and also unite the Conservative Party to deliver stable government.”

North Hykeham and Sleaford MP Caroline Johnson

Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Caroline Johnson also offered her support to Sunak, despite publicly backing Boris Johnson before the former Prime Minister announced he would not run in the leadership contest.

This comes just three months after the local MP resigned as vice chair of the Conservative party, as part of a long line of cabinet resignations in the closing stages of Boris Johnson’s premiership.

Dr Johnson said: “I congratulate Rishi Sunak on becoming the leader of the Conservative party and next Prime Minister. I know that he has the experience and ability to get straight to work, supporting the British people. He has my full support.”

Victoria Atkins and Gareth Davies were Lincolnshire’s first two MPs to declare their support to Rishi Sunak in the Conservative party leadership race that saw Liz Truss elected as Prime Minister.

Other Lincolnshire MPs, including Bring & Goole’s Andrew Percy, Grantham & Stamford’s Gareth Davies and Louth & Horncastle’s Victoria Atkins, publicly backed Rishi Sunak before the announcement was made.

Atkins said Sunak has “a track record in steering us through tough economic times and can unite the party and our country”, while Gareth Davies said he believes the new Prime Minister “can lead our country through these challenging times”.

Martin Vickers, Cleethorpes MP, and John Hayes, MP for South Holland & The Deepings, also backed Rishi Sunak in the leadership race, but are yet to issue public statements on the new Prime Minister being unveiled.

Backing Boris to the hill

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his interview at The Lincolnite offices, alongside Lincoln MP Karl McCartney. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Other MPs were not as quick to rush to the support of Rishi Sunak, after a confusing weekend in the world of politics saw Boris Johnson garner large amounts of support to stand for leadership again, only to turn the opportunity down on Sunday.

Karl McCartney, MP for Lincoln and avid supporter of Boris Johnson, did not announce who he would be supporting once Johnson backed out of the race, but instead took to Twitter suggesting that people “in the media” should “enjoy their slices of humble pie” as the 1922 Committee confirmed that the former Prime Minister did in fact generate enough support from MPs to stand in the race.

The social media post came after accusations that Boris Johnson had not earned the support of at least 100 Conservative MPs, which is what was required to stand in the leadership race.

Another Lincolnshire MP that backed Boris Johnson, Scunthorpe’s Holly Mumby-Croft, is yet to issue anything publicly about Sunak’s appointment.