All Change in Political Leadership

Congratulations to Jo Swinson MP, who is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. I’ve not really seen much of their candidates during the contest but I wish her well.

Only the Labour party has yet to be led by a woman now…

The Conservative leadership contest also closes this evening. The candidates took part in 16 hustings around the country, met with thousands of people, addressed hundreds of questions and generally energised the debate. The public nature of our televised hustings provided full transparency, scrutiny and influence beyond the voting membership. I have taken time to talk to as many residents and local members as I can about this too.

I voted for Boris Johnson MP to be the next leader of our party. Both candidates promoted a number of key issues that are important to me – social justice, education, reducing taxes, environmental matters, boosting businesses, transport, police, health and welfare. Yet on the biggest issue of the day, I believe Boris has the greater vision and confidence to deliver Brexit.

The extensive coalition of impressive MPs that are backing him from across the spectrum of the party was another strong factor in my decision.

Boris has also been listening to my campaign for Further Education (possibly because I have been pestering him and his team for weeks). He has repeatedly raised the issue of Further Education, skills and apprenticeships during his leadership bid. He understands the value of colleges like SGS Stroud, reskilling, lifelong learning inside and outside of work and the need to have non university options. I will, however, continue to keep up the pressure for funding to follow the rhetoric.

Jeremy Hunt MP has been a great candidate and the contest has been a reminder of the depth of talent in the Conservative party. We are lucky that he and Boris have said that they will serve in each other’s government. Their energy and ideas will therefore continue regardless of who wins.

I will support whomever wins and I hope the whole parliamentary party gets behind the new leader.

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