Iain Duncan Smith backs Andrea Leadsom's leadership bid
Andrea Leadsom’s bid to be next Conservative leader has received a boost after Iain Duncan Smith announced he was supporting her.
The former Work and Pensions Secretary, like Ms Leadsom a prominent Brexiteer, praised the Energy Minister for her “ability to achieve objectives even against considerable odds”.
“I believe that Andrea's strong family background, business experience, compassion, commitment to social justice and dedication will make her a great prime minister for the UK,” Mr Duncan Smith added.
Michael Gove, Theresa May, Liam Fox, and Stephen Crabb are the other candidates in the running to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister.
Ms May currently has the support of almost 100 MPs, and one of her backers, Business Minister Anna Soubry, said yesterday it would be preferable if the other candidates could reach an agreement to stand down.
Ms Soubry told LBC: “It would be best if the candidates among themselves could just back one person and then we can get on with it. This uncertainty — for this to drag on till September — is not great for our country.”
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph today, Ms Leadsom said she believed the next leader had to be someone who supported leaving the EU, suggesting she did not support Mr Crabb or Ms May getting the top job.
She said: “I think it’s very difficult for somebody who doesn’t agree with that, who is reluctantly following the wishes of the people. I think it’s quite hard for them to really see the opportunities.
“I genuinely believe that if we want to make a go of it then we need somebody who believes in it.”
Penny Mordaunt, who is part of Ms Leadsom’s campaign team, added: “The phones are in meltdown. We are getting good support and the momentum is with us. You will see over the weekend there will be more names coming out.”
Conservative MPs will take part in the first round of voting on Tuesday, when one candidate will be eliminated.