Esther McVey confirms she will stand for Tory leadership when Theresa May quits

Posted On: 
9th May 2019

Esther McVey has confirmed she will be running for the Conservative leadership when Theresa May stands down.

Ms McVey quit the Cabinet last year in protest of Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement
PA Images

The former Work and Pensions Secretary said that she now had enough support from Tory colleagues to launch her campaign.

Speaking to Talk Radio, the Tatton MP said: “I've always said quite clearly that if I got enough support from colleagues then yes I would, and now people have come forward and I have that support."

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Ms McVey, who quit the Cabinet last year in protest of Mrs May’s Brexit deal, said the Tories needed to be led by “somebody that actually believes in Brexit”.

She said: “We all know Theresa May is dutiful but when your party is saying time for somebody else to deliver Brexit then I'm afraid we need somebody to deliver that Brexit…

“You've got to have somebody that actually believes in Brexit.

“Get rid of that backstop and use the £39billion to get that free-trade agreement.

“You have to have belief in the opportunities of Brexit... you have to believe that the backstop must go, you need a new team of negotiators.”

Cabinet members Andrea Leadsom and Rory Stewart have already all-but confirmed that they will also run for the Tory leadership when the time comes, while the likes of Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt are also certain to stand.

Mrs May has already said she will stand down if the Commons finally passes her Brexit deal.

But Tory MPs are urging her to set out a timetable for her departure in all circumstances.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond told the Evening Standard that any leadership contest must be brief.

He said: "Once we start the leadership contest, getting it done as quickly as possible would be positive because this isn’t just about the leader of the party, it’s about the Prime Minister."