Conservative leadership

The heart of the UK’s business, financial and professional services industry lies in my constituency. My own local Conservative Association is one of the three largest in the UK. Since nominations closed for the Leadership of the Party last week I have not aligned myself with any team nor declared public support for a candidate.

In recent days I have become increasingly convinced by the importance of resolving the political paralysis which now threatens the wellbeing of the UK economy and our standing internationally. The prospect of continued strategic uncertainty until the second week of September is, I am being repeatedly told, already harming British companies active in global markets or seeking foreign direct investment deals.

From soundings amongst my local Conservative members there is a distinct, albeit minority, view that the membership must have the final say on the Leadership issue. To be frank, despite my having been a committed Remainer I initially had some sympathy with the view that at this juncture the Conservative Party would be best led by someone who had actively campaigned for Brexit.

Nevertheless the prospect of two more months of the soap opera of last week appals me – especially at a critical time for the nation when all leading Conservatives should be working flat out to provide strong, inspiring, reassuring government.

Above all the national interest must also be considered. I share the view of the majority of those local Conservatives who have made representations to me: they believe that in the event of Thursday’s second ballot showing a commanding lead for any one of the candidates, the others should put personal ambitions to one side and unite behind that leading candidate in order that a new Administration can be formed and get to work without further delay.