Tory vice chair quits to back Dominic Raab leadership bid
A Conservative vice chair has resigned her job in order to throw her weight behind Dominic Raab's expected bid for the Tory leadership.
Helen Grant stepped down as communities spokesperson so she could "actively and openly" support the former Brexit Secretary when he finally announces his candidacy for Prime Minister
In a letter to party chairman Brandon Lewis, Ms Grant said she was resigning to avoid a "perception of a conflict" between her backing for Mr Raab and her position with Conservative HQ.
Theresa May announced this morning she would step down as Tory leader on 7 June but will remain as Prime Minister until a replacement is elected.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, Mr Raab, who has not formally confirmed his intention to run, said he would allow Mrs May to “make this decision with her dignity intact” before revealing his plans.
He has already been laying out a policy platform, including a 5p cut in income tax and a raft of proposals to tackle the housing crisis.
In a statement released on Twitter, Ms Grant said she was backing Mr Raab's "inspiring vision for a fairer Britain".
"I think he is the best person to unite the party and the country. That is why I am supporting him to become our next Prime Minister and I am very proud to do so," she said.
"Dominic believes everyone should get a fair shot in life and the opportunity to make the best of their talents, which is something I am passionate about."
She added: "I believe we need someone with the determination to fight for Britain to get a fairer deal from the EU.
“Dominic is perhaps uniquely placed to deliver this with his significant experience working on international treaties as a Foreign Office lawyer.
“I know he is a tough negotiator and that's why I'm backing Dominic Raab to be our next leader and Prime Minister."
Shortly before Mrs May announced her resignation date, Mr Raab said: "I don't think we should get ahead of ourselves.
“I want to see what the result of the European elections are... I want to see her given the time, the space and the respect to make this decision with her dignity intact and with integrity.”
Tory member polls suggest Mr Raab is the second favourite to succeed the Prime Minister after Boris Johnson.