Mon, 26 February 2024

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Matt Hancock becomes latest Tory MP to announce he is running to succeed Theresa May

2 min read

Matt Hancock has become the latest Tory MP to announce that he is running to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister.

The Health Secretary said the UK needed "a leader for the future, not just for now".

He joins an already-crowded field alongside Boris Johnson, Rory Stewart, Esther McVey and Jeremy Hunt, with up to a dozen others also expected to announce they are running.

Theresa May formally fired the starting gun on the contest by announcing on Friday that she would stand down as Tory leader on 7 June.

Speaking on Radio Four's Today programme, Mr Hancock said: "I'm going to run to be the next Prime Minister because I believe from the bottom of my heart that we need a leader for the future, not just for now.

"Of course we've got to deliver Brexit and I will, but we need to win the argument for free enterprise and a free society and so all the other things we need to do to make this country a great place to live.

"And that issue of the future risks being lost in a discussion just about the details of the Brexit deal, which of course is vital but there are so many other things we need to do."

Mr Johnson is the bookies' favourite to be the next PM, but Mr Hancock said he was the best candidate to win back younger voters who have deserted the Conservatives.

Asked if he could serve under the former Foreign Secretary if he wins the leadership contest, Mr Hancock said: "I'm running to win and the favourite has never won in the past in the Conservative leadership contest.

"I'd seek to have a Cabinet that drew from the full breadth of the Conservative Party. I'd be happy to serve in the Cabinet of any of the contenders, including all of those who have declared so far."

Rory Stewart had earlier said he could not serve under Mr Johnson because of his support for a no-deal Brexit.

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