Peter Heaton-Jones nails his colours to the mast in Conservative leadership battle

North Devon’s MP has backed Theresa May to become the next Prime Minister.

Peter Heaton-Jones announced today (Monday): “Tomorrow I will be voting for Theresa May to become the Conservative Party’s new leader.

“I have considered all the candidates very carefully, and have now had a personal meeting with the Home Secretary,” he said.

“I asked her about a range of issues, including arrangements for the UK leaving the EU, her views on the future direction of the government, and - vitally - how she would ensure that North Devon and the wider South West receive the investment we need.”

The other candidates were cofnrimed after the shock withdrawal of Boris Johnson from the leadership race.

They are Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Stephen Crabb and Andrea Leadsom.

Mr Heaton-Jones said he had ‘taken soundings’ from his North Devon constituents and was ‘in no doubt that Theresa May is the right person to lead our party and our country’.

Mrs May was a prominent campaigner for Britain to remain in the EU, but Mr Heaton-Jones – who also chose remain – said he did not believe the next leader had to be someone who supported Brexit.

“The referendum result issued a clear instruction to the government that we should leave the EU,” he said.

“What’s important now is that we have the leader who is best equipped to undertake these tough negotiations and lead our country through this period of uncertainty.”

He added: “Meanwhile I am not allowing the current Westminster dramas to distract me from my primary role representing North Devon, especially fighting for our health services and campaigning for better road, rail and broadband connections.

“This will always be my first priority and I will be making this clear to the new Prime Minister at the earliest opportunity.”

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