Andrea Leadsom claims she has enough support to be in race to succeed Theresa May

Posted On: 
8th June 2019

Andrea Leadsom has insisted that she has enough backing from MPs to get into the first round of the Tory leadership contest.

Andrea Leadsom believes she had support amongst colleagues. (Image Credit: Baldo Sciacca)

With nominations due to close on Monday, Ms Leadsom only has three declared supporters.

But the former Commons Leader told an ITV News podcast that she had "good support amongst colleagues" and would get the eight nominees required.

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Ms Leadsom, who quit Theresa May's government over Brexit last month, insisted she had a "very clear set out" plan to leave the EU which is the "only workable" solution on offer.

The first part of the plan is "to introduce a second reading of a citizen's rights bill in the Commons, something that would protect UK and EU citizens," she said.

Then she would "ramp up preparations for no deal because we have to be ready for the end of October, come what may."

Ms Leadsom said following that she would "lead a delegation during August of ministers to go and meet with key allies in the EU 27."

There would then be a summit in September to which the new, but at that point unconfirmed, EU commissioners, would be invited. Ms Leadsom hopes to "agree, first of all, that there will be no extension beyond October and secondly the measures that we all agree to sign up to so that we have a managed exit," at that summit.

Ms Leadsom said she was "not an advocate of no deal" but insisted that "in any negotiation have to be prepared to walk away."

Elsewhere, she confessed that she found her 2016 run at the Tory leadership - when she was forced to pull out following a Times interview -  "shattering". 

"Theresa May rightly had a huge amount of support then, which is why I withdrew, because I didn't want to put the country through a nine-week campaign at such a difficult time," she said.

She added that she believes this time the contest is different "because we've got a huge number of leadership candidates in the race who have very differing views about Brexit".