Former banker Andrea Leadsom is stepping down in the race against Theresa May for the coveted position of Conservative Party Leader. Her withdrawal comes after a seemingly tough week, in which Leadsom claims she felt she was “under attack, under enormous pressure”.
It has been speculated that Leadsom was under pressure to withdraw from the race not only because she “has the support of less than 25% of the parliamentary party”, but because of the negative publicity she has attracted in recent weeks.
Conservative politicians criticised the junior energy minister for her “vile” comments towards May surrounding motherhood and the public were angered by many of her statements, particularly those surrounding her disapproval of gay marriage and proposal to bring back fox-hunting in order to ‘increase animal welfare’.
Yet her biggest support, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, claimed that Leadsom was being targeted by MP’s who wish to “denigrate her reputation”.
However both Leadsom and Smith wish well for May, with Leadsom stating that she wishes there to be a “swift appointment of Theresa May”, who is currently the only remaining contender for the position.
Many former Leadsom followers have followed Leadsom’s own example and have switched their support to May, with Conservative MP Steve Baker advocating May’s impending appointment and Graham Brady stating he will consult with the board with regards to May becoming the next Prime Minister.
More political change may be in the pipeline, as Leadsom withdrawing from the PM race has meant that yet another prolific Brexiteer has stepped down. Could this mean more action will be taken to reverse UK’s decision to leave the EU?
David Cameron is to step down on Wednesday, Theresa May will then be instated as Prime Minister. Cameron has praised May, and has publicly shown his support, as he stated he has ‘concluded that the interests of our country are best served by the immediate appointment of a strong and well-supported prime minister’.
David Cameron is scheduled to make a statement at 5pm.
Wessex Scene will keep you updated as the story progresses.