While I was out and about yesterday, lots of people have asked me what happens next following the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, so I thought it would be helpful to update you.
There is a long established process established and strictly overseen by the 1922 Committee of back bench MPs.
Any MP who receives enough nominations from MPs can enter the race. The number of backers needed has yet to be announced (it will be for the 1922 to decide) – it is thought that the number may be 20, but it could be as low as 10.
We won’t know the full slate of candidates until the start of next week, but there are some fairly well established campaigns already up and running – for political nerds I recommend checking Guido’s site here which has a running tally!
Once the slate is announced hustings in Parliament begins. MPs will have the chance to set out their vision to their colleagues. Then there will be a series of votes, sometimes as many as 3 or 4 in one day, and the lowest scoring candidates are eliminated successively. The votes are secret and they are counted and announced by the 1922.
By the end of next week Thursday 14 July we will be down to 4 candidates. The following week the next stage run offs will take place reducing the field to the final two. Then a ballot of Conservative party members, who have been members for at least three months, will be able to cast their votes in a postal vote.
This is essentially the same process that was followed when Boris Johnson became leader.
While I’m sad that we are in the position of having to choose a new leader, the good news is that there are outstanding and very interesting candidates to choose from. They represent the best of our party, from North, South and the mighty Midlands, with a stunning variety of backgrounds and life experience before they entered Parliament. None are “career politicians”.
I have spoken to each of the candidates and I have carefully considered who to back based on who I believe is right, not only for Redditch, but for the whole country.
I considered who is the best person to cope with the cost of living crisis, the aftershocks of the global pandemic on our health services, the energy cost hikes, and who best embodies the Conservative values I believe in.
I want to see an economic approach that boosts growth outside the EU, harnesses the natural strengths of the UK economy and creates wealth for everyone. Policies that reward hard work and aspiration, but protect the most vulnerable from extraordinary shocks. An understanding of what life is like for people working hard in Redditch. Putting the family first as the best form of welfare beyond the state. Telling the truth, being decent and honest. Making the tough choices and taking the hard decisions when faced by the inevitable challenges ahead. Controlling our borders, as every nation state has the right to. Continuing to stand up to Putin in Ukraine. And most of all, someone with personal integrity that I trust to make the right decisions for you and your families.
That’s why I have decided to back Sajid Javid for our next Prime Minister. I have known Sajid since 2013 and throughout that time I’ve seen his work ethic, his commitment to a life of public service and his values and principles.
Since coming to Parliament, I have worked with him closely in two great offices of State while he was in the Home Office and also in his role as Chancellor. I’ve sat with him while he has grappled with balancing the books, making spending and tax decisions, worked with the police to cut crime, and oversaw our national security and terrorist threat. He’s a truly impressive and competent minister and always remains true to his Conservative instincts.
The son of Pakistani Punjabi immigrant parents, Sajid has made his way from very humble roots to one of the highest offices in the country. He is an inspirational role model for young people, showing what can be achieved in our great country.
He has the most government experience of ANY candidate that is standing. I value this experience deeply because we face challenges on all fronts. This is not the time for rehearsals or apprenticeships or for learning on the job. We need the next Prime Minister to grip the issues immediately, to bring true leadership and assemble a Cabinet and a team that can unite the Party.
The other very important factor in my decision is that Sajid has strong links to Redditch. He is our neighbouring MP representing Bromsgrove. He has deep knowledge of the issues facing Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and while he has been Health Secretary, he has put investment into the NHS to recruit more doctors and nurses, to refurbish hospital wards to prepare for robotic surgery, and has listened to my passionate campaign to return maternity and children’s services to the Alex – providing wise counsel on how I can best move this vital objective forward.
Whatever the outcome of the election, I am clear that I will throw my full support behind the new leader and Prime Minister.