Iain Duncan Smith backs Andrea Leadsom to become prime minister
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
The Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith has said he is backing energy minister Andrea Leadsom to become Conservative Party leader.
Mrs Leadsom is standing against the front-runner home secretary Theresa May and the justice secretary Michael Gove.
The victor will replace David Cameron as prime minister, after he resigned following the Brexit vote on June 23.
In a statement released today Mr Duncan Smith said: “Andrea Leadsom has that rare combination of deep compassion for those less fortunate than herself coupled with real world experience which has given her enormous ability to make clear and informed decisions when needed.”
He argued her experience in the banking sector, and as a treasury and energy minister, give her perfect qualifications for the role.
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Mr Duncan Smith, who campaigned for the UK to leave European Union (EU), had previously stated a Brexiteer should become Tory leader.
Mrs Leadsom was one of the Leave campaign’s most prominent figures, receiving plaudits for her performance in TV debates.
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In the statement Mr Duncan Smith continued: “We enter a new era, one dominated by the decision by the British people to leave the EU.
“In essence, this means that we will no longer be governed by European law and we will take back control of our law-making, our borders and our overseas trade.
“Alongside that, we will want to have the best relationship with our European friends - to trade, to cooperate and to help defend them; in essence, an alliance of equals.
“To get there, we need a prime minister who whilst capable of taking difficult decisions does not lose sight of her humanity.
“A prime minister able to inspire the British people with a clear and realistic vision of the future but also one who believes that leaving the EU will hugely benefit us all.
“Andrea Leadsom with that incredible balance of compassion and strength is I believe the right person and that is why I am supporting her.”
Tory MPs will whittle the number of candidates down to two later this week, and then the Conservative membership will vote on who will become the next prime minister.