Melton MP announces backing for PM contender

Melton MP, Alicia Kearns, has confirmed she will be backing Penny Mordaunt in the leadership contest for the Conservative party.

Conservative Party leader candidate, Penny Mordaunt MP (left) and Melton MP, Alicia Kearns, who is supporting her
Conservative Party leader candidate, Penny Mordaunt MP (left) and Melton MP, Alicia Kearns, who is supporting her

There are now 11 contenders for the role, which will also see the winner becoming the new Prime Minister following Boris Johnson’s announcement last week that he is quitting.

Ms Mordaunt, who has been MP for Portsmouth North for 12 years, is a former Defence Secretary and big supporter of Brexit.

Explaining why she is supporting Ms Mordaunt, Mrs Kearns said: “Service to our nation is in her blood, and I believe wholeheartedly that she would unite our Party and great nation with her genuine honesty, sense of duty and detailed plan for the country she loves.

“Above all, I would be proud to stand behind her and I know she would reflect the honest, effective and down to earth politics that I want to see in Westminster.

“I believe she can give communities across Rutland, Melton, the Vale and Harborough Villages peace of mind, and solve the serious problems we face as communities in a responsible and fair-minded way.”

Tory MPs will vote for their favourite in a ballot until the final two contenders are decided – the overall winner will then be decided by an election involving Conservative party members across the country.

The other contenders so far are Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Rehman Chishti, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Grant Shapps, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Nadhim Zahawi.

Mrs Kearns welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to resign – she said she was ‘relieved’ after voicing her lack of confidence in him as a leader since January following a series of scandals and controversies in which she believed Mr Johnson had misled the public on.

On her Facebook page, Mrs Kearns posted: “The last seven months have been enormously difficult for me personally, as I remained loyal to my country, party and to campaigning every day to secure the priorities of our communities in Rutland, Melton, the Vale and Harborough villages.

"Now as a party we must come together and move forward focused on our priorities for our communities and the country.

"We must now do better, and I believe with all my heart that we can.”