Former leadership candidates unite to back Boris Johnson

Former leadership candidates Matt Hancock and Esther McVey have announced their support for Boris Johnson to be Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister, describing him as the only candidate who can unite the country and provide an optimistic vision for the future.

 

Former leadership candidates unite to back Boris Johnson

Former leadership candidates Matt Hancock and Esther McVey have announced their support for Boris Johnson to be Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister, describing him as the only candidate who can unite the country and provide an optimistic vision for the future.

 

Health Secretary and former leadership candidate Matt Hancock wrote in The Times:

“Having considered all the options, I’m backing Boris Johnson as the best candidate to unite the Conservative party, so we can deliver Brexit and then unite the country behind an open, ambitious, forward-looking agenda, delivered with the energy that gets stuff done.

“Boris has run a disciplined campaign and is almost certainly going to be our next prime minister. We need to unite behind him with a strong team that can bring the party together and then bring the country together. After any debate like this, people need to put aside their differences for a greater purpose. My view is that we need to start coming together sooner rather than later.

“Boris is emphatic in public and in private that he wants to be a One Nation prime minister and bring the country together around an optimistic vision for the future. I will hold him to that. At my core I believe in the value of every person and the contribution they can make. I have confidence Boris will be a One Nation prime minister because that’s how he ran London — consistently — for eight years. I have repeatedly argued for a strategy of defeating the danger of Farage by delivering Brexit and defeating the danger of Corbyn by dominating the centre ground thereafter. That is Boris’s plan and I wholeheartedly endorse it.”

 

Former Work and Pensions Secretary and leadership candidate Esther McVey told The Telegraph:

“I have been travelling all around the country as part of my new initiative, Blue Collar Conservatism. It is about hearing what the concerns of everyday voters are and then developing solutions that will make a real, practical difference to their families’ lives.

“And they’ve all been saying the same thing: get on with Brexit and then invest money in our public services.

“I am delighted that Boris Johnson has today committed to this Blue Collar Conservatism agenda.

“I will wholeheartedly support him in his bid to become the leader of our great party and country, and I look forward to working with him to deliver for Blue Collar Conservatives all over the country.

“He has promised to deliver Brexit on October 31, deal or no deal, and has shown time and time again that he is a dynamic leader, capable of building a strong team around him that will deliver on his promises.

“Our country is crying out for strong, optimistic leadership and Boris is the man best equipped to take us out of the EU, to transform our country into an outward-looking, confident, self-governing nation, and to implement a policy agenda that will bring back the voters we have lost and ensure we don’t allow Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto of economic carnage to plunge us back into the dark ages.”

 

Chris Heaton-Harris told The Evening Standard why he was backing Boris, saying:

“Having supported Andrea Leadsom until she was knocked out last week, I have spent the weekend looking to see which of the remaining candidates to lead my Party has the best policy platform: one that guarantees we will leave the EU with or without a negotiated deal on 31st October and who has a strong post-Brexit domestic policy agenda. Boris Johnson ticked both those boxes massively for me and I’m pleased to support him going forward.”

 

Also speaking to The Evening Standard, Margaret Thatcher’s former trade secretary Lord Young of Graffham said:

“Ever since the referendum our country has lacked leadership and we are now paying the price. Parliament is in disarray and we have lost confidence in our ability to reach out to the world, despite being one of its largest economies. For this reason, I believe that Boris Johnson is now the only candidate who will deliver Brexit and provide the leadership and the clear direction to bring our nation together again.”

 

Sir David Evennett MP announced his support for Boris, saying:

“We live in extraordinary times and our country faces huge challenges. Therefore, we need someone who can give leadership, implement Brexit, has the necessary talents and experience, and can restore faith in ourselves as a country and in our democracy. As Mayor of London, Boris made our capital the number one city in the world, and had a record of real achievement. I have also worked closely with him in Government and as his Whip.

“As Prime Minister, I believe Boris can lead our country to a better future and win a General Election for the Conservatives. He is a great communicator, has charisma, and is a proven vote winner.

“I am therefore supporting Boris to be elected leader of the Conservative Party.”

Ben Bradley announced his support for Boris having previously backed Esther McVey, saying:

“I am proud to have supported Esther McVey and her #BlueCollarConservative agenda, and I'm delighted that Boris Johnson has confirmed his commitment to those values. I think he's the candidate best placed to deliver Brexit and I'll be supporting him to be our PM.”

Andrew Lewer, who also previously backed Esther McVey, announced he would be endorsing Boris, saying:

“Boris Johnson is supporting Esther McVey #BlueCollarConservative policies as well as being determined to deliver a proper Brexit. He has my support!”


POLLING

A new YouGov survey of Conservative Party members has revealed that Boris Johnson ranks first amongst Conservative Party members as well as the wider general public. The poll showed that 77% of Conservative Party members believe Boris would be a good leader, the highest for any candidate. You can see the full polling here.