Harrogate MP says new PM "must follow through" with Brexit

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones believes Home Secretary Theresa May is the best candidate to face the challenges associated with leaving the EU.

Mr Jones backed the Home Secretary to become the next Tory leader and Prime Minister following David Cameron’s decision to step down, following the referendum vote.

Mrs May is currently the frontrunner for the position after winning the first round contest; ahead of Andrea Leadsom in second and Michael Gove in third.

The Harrogate and Knaresborough MP was one of 165 Conservative MPs who voted for Mrs May, believing she had the “gravitas and experience” to negotiate the UK’s EU exit.

He told the Advertiser: “She is a very strong candidate and I’m supporting her because of the significant challenges which are currently facing our country.

“Each candidate has their own merits but we need somebody with grit and, at this particular time, she is right person to take us forward.

“She has the experience and knowledge which the top job requires. She has gravitas and that is an important factor when negotiating with other world leaders.”

Mr Jones said he has received a lot of correspondence and questions since the referendum vote, from constituents on both sides of the argument.

Despite voting to remain in the EU, Mr Jones said the next Prime Minister needs to follow the will of the British people and take the country out of the EU.

He said: “I have had people contact me from both sides of the argument. Some from the Remain camp who want a second referendum and some from the Leave camp who want to make sure we follow through on this.

“We certainly do need to sort out our exit from the EU. That is the will of the British people and it must be followed through.

“There was a majority in favour of Leave. I’m disappointed with the vote but the British people have spoken and their voice is louder than any politician’s.”

North Somerset MP Liam Fox was eliminated in fifth place in the first round of the contest on Tuesday, July 5, with Work and Pensions secretary Stephen Crabb dropping out after coming fourth.

Mrs May had a 99 vote lead over her nearest competitor and Mr Jones said she had the best credentials to lead the country through “uncertain times” which lie ahead.

He said: “Leaving the EU and activating Article 50 is obviously a huge challenge but it is not the only we’re facing.

“We need someone with international experience and a cool head as we redefine our relationships with countries around the world.

“She has those qualities. We now need to bring the people in this country together and find the right solution in a huge time of change.”