Tory leadership contest: Mark Prisk says Jeremy Hunt is the man to be next Prime Minister
Bishop's Stortford's Conservative MP, Mark Prisk, is supporting Jeremy Hunt to be his party's next leader and Prime Minister – just two days after telling the Bishop's Stortford Independent he was going to take his time over who to choose.
In the wake of Theresa May's announcement last Friday (May 24) that she would be resigning as Tory leader and PM on Friday June 7, the Indie emailed Mr Prisk on Friday evening to get his views on her successor.
Mr Prisk, who has served the Hertford and Stortford constituency since 2001, said in an email response on Sunday afternoon: "For me, any new leader and Prime Minister will need to be someone who can reach out and bring people together, first to resolve Brexit and then to tackle many of the other important issues facing this country.
"I will be meeting and listening to many of the candidates to see who I think has the best chance of succeeding."
Then at 9pm on Tuesday (May 28), just 52 hours after saying he would be taking his time, Mr Prisk tweeted that he would be supporting Foreign Secretary and former Health Secretary Mr Hunt, the 52-year-old MP for South West Surrey.
He said: "He’s a successful entrepreneur who has shown patient, thoughtful and effective leadership in his jobs in Cabinet. He can reach across the Party and reach out to voters."
The Indie has contacted Mr Prisk to get his response.
Braintree MP and Brexit minister James Cleverly earlier today (Wed) became the 11th person to declare his intention to stand in the leadership election.
He joins Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Rory Stewart, Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Kit Malthouse as well as Mr Hunt.
Mr Prisk, a former housing and business minister under David Cameron's premiership, voted Remain in the EU Referendum in June 2016, as did Mr Hunt.
He said: "I had much respect for Mrs May's hard work and her sense of public service in extremely difficult circumstances.
"However, when the talks with Labour broke up, it became clear that she could not take the Brexit process any further. So I think that her decision to announce that she will stand down on June 7 had become inevitable."
North Herts MP Oliver Heald, whose constituency includes East Herts villages, has also declared his support for Mr Hunt.