This month, Theresa May announced that she will shortly be stepping down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party.
While not denying the challenges of the highest office in the land, this decision is the right one for our country as we look for fresh leadership.
The contest to succeed Theresa May has, unofficially at least, already started. As a Conservative MP I take my vote in this process extremely seriously. The incoming Prime Minister must be someone who will deliver the clear mandate to leave the EU. Indeed, this was reiterated at the European Parliamentary elections last month, where parties advocating Brexit received more than half of all votes cast in Crawley as well as nationally.
This of course follows the 2016 referendum where 17.4 million people across Britain – including 58 per cent of Crawley voters – voted to leave the EU, and the 2017 general election where 589 out of 650 seats elected an MP who stood on a manifesto to get on with Brexit.
The House of Commons voted to hold the 2016 referendum on EU membership – the Government at the time spent over £9 million of taxpayers’ money urging people to vote to remain – but the decision of the people has not yet been enacted. This will be just one responsibility of the new Prime Minister.
I am pleased to chair a number of cross-party parliamentary groups on topics including heart disease, animal welfare and blood cancer. I look forward to hearing from the leadership candidates their views on these subjects as well as on other issues relating to our NHS, support for the police and funding for schools.
The next Prime Minister’s vision for our nation will not just see us to the end of the Brexit process, but will outline the direction of our country for the years ahead, and move Britain forward to a global, free and confident future.
Henry Smith MP