Antoinette Sandbach: Why I am supporting Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart can bring the party and the country back together, Antoinette Sandbach, Conservative MP for Eddisbury, writes in The Times:

A new prime minister will have to take over at a time of incredible change and must immediately be able to represent Great Britain on the world stage. They must be able to deliver Brexit and heal the wounds of the referendum campaign. However, this is not enough. They must also be able to win an election campaign against a dangerous and hard-left Labour Party.

This will not be an easy task, and we cannot take for granted that people will recognise the risks Labour pose. We need a leader who inspires the public and broadens our party, not someone who will risk our reputation for economic competence. A Conservative Corbyn who pleases our base but doesn’t reach out beyond it is the last thing our party needs.

While there are several good candidates for leader, there is only one who I believe meets all these criteria. Rory Stewart has represented this country to the world as a diplomat and a minister. He has shown a genuine commitment not only to delivering Brexit but to understanding the complexity of it. Most of all he has shown the degree of honesty and straight-talking charm that any prime minister will need when dealing with a divided parliament and the EU.

I’ve also seen polling that demonstrates he is the best placed to win back the young voters and swing voters we need to take back seats like Canterbury and Ipswich that we lost in 2017. So, I would urge my colleagues: if you want to deliver Brexit, if you want to beat Jeremy Corbyn, if you want to unite the country and if you want the Conservative Party to win back the votes lost at the last election and start winning again across the whole of society, then join me in backing Rory Stewart for leader.

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Rory Stewart