Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan says he is looking forward to becoming ‘a straight forward constituency MP’ following his dramatic resignation from the government yesterday (Monday) which was made in anticipation of this morning’s election of Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister.
Sir Alan, who backed Jeremy Hunt in the race to be party leader in succession to Theresa May, had flown around the world in his role as Foreign Office Minister.
But after quitting the job, he has hinted he may have more time available for tackling issues in his Rutland and Melton consituency.
Sir Alan told the Melton Times this afternoon (Tuesday): “I have concluded my ministerial life and look forward to being a backbencher and a straight forward constituency MP.”
He resigned his government post yesterday with a series of comments questioning whether Mr Johnson would command a majority in the House of Commons and he told the BBC he was concerned by the new Prime Minister’s ‘fly by the seats of his pants, haphazard’ style and that he was heading ‘smack into a crisis of government’.
Sir Alan also tabled a motion, which was rejected by The Speaker, John Bercow, for an emergency Commons debate to enable MPs to indicate if they would support a Boris Johnson-led government.
But Sir Alan today gave his backing to Mr Johnson’s new administration, telling this newspaper: “Now we have had the result, we should all rally round the new Prime Minister and make a success of the new government.”
He added: “I moved the motion to test whether the new Prime Minister can command a parliamentary majority – in order to avoid constitutional havoc later on.”
Meanwhile, the chair of the Rutland and Melton Conservative Association has praised Sir Alan following this week’s dramatic events.
Reacting to news of Sir Alan leaving his ministerial post, local Tory association chair, Byron Rhodes, said: “Sir Alan’s resignation from the Government brings to a close the contribution of an outstanding public servant in one of the highest offices in the country.
“Sir Alan’s contribution to keeping this country safe in the world is largely unknown to most people, but has been of vital importance to us all.
“We have much to thank him for.
“Of course there are some who criticise him for his views on Brexit and other matters.
“They should set those to one side now and appreciate him as a principled minister who served his country with distinction.
“I hope and trust he will continue to serve as our MP for many years to come.”
Mr Johnson was this morning elected as new leader of the Conservatives after polling 92,153 votes in the ballot of party members compared to Mr Hunt’s 46,656.
He will take over at 10 Downing Street tomorrow.