Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom gave a speech about why she should be the UK’s next prime minister and it highlighted why she is growing into a really serious contender.
Leadsom — who just a few weeks ago was a total unknown to most people — has emerged as an impressive candidate to take over the Conservative Party as her pitch could appeal to both vital wings of the Tories.
Speaking in Westminster, the South Northamptonshire MP promised to trigger Britain’s withdrawal from the EU as soon as possible and hailed the referendum result as a “great moment” in Britain’s history — claims that will appease pro-Brexit party members.
But, she also set out her mission to be a compassionate leader who will care for the poor and enhance workers rights, a promise that will appeal to more moderate Conservatives.
“It was a big decision to put myself forward to lead our country,” Leadsom said. “One that was driven by my absolute conviction that our future, and that of our children and grandchildren, will be so much better outside the European Union.
She added: “But my real passion in politics is my desire for social justice, for a transformation of our society… Workers rights under my leadership will be protected and enhanced… The richest people in this country won’t be the focus of my government.”
The Minister of State for Energy also promised to guarantee the rights of EU citizens who are already based in the UK to remain in the country, despite the uncertainty following the outcome of the EU referendum. This is a promise that fellow candidate Theresa May refused to make during an appearance on ITV’s Peston on Sunday.
“I can guarantee the rights of our EU friends who have already come here to live and work.” she said. “There is no way that they will be bargaining chips in our negotiations.”
Leadsom’s impressive leadership pitch comes as her odds to be the country’s next prime minister continue to improve. She is currently second-favourite to take over from David Cameron, according to Britan’s major bookmakers, behind favourite Home Secretary May.
Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who co-founded the Leave.EU campaign, is also backing Leadsom’s campaign, according to the Bristol Post. Interestingly, former UKIP-donor Banks attended Leadsom’s speech on Monday, according to Sky’s Faisal Islam.
Watch part of Leadsom’s speech in the clip below.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 4, 2016
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