Who should be the next PM

I am consulting members of the Wokingham Conservative Association about our next leader and would be happy to hear your view.

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37 Comments

  1. Keith McArdle
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Michael Gove is the only choice and the only chance to beat May with the grassroots. It has to be a Brexiteer.

  2. Luke Dyks
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    We the brexit backing grassroots members of the party would really love it if you could support Andrea Leadsom for leader. Would fully execute brexit and would really help this country make the most of the future by making us open for business.

    • Catherine McNeill
      Posted July 2, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. Andrea was very impressive in the two televised debates, and didn’t seem to stoop below a threshold for integrity. She seems positive, calm, focussed, a team player, willing to listen (which we need a lot more of) and can build a top team around her. We need a team leader who unites the party and is entirely driven to get the best exit deal. Anything will spell trouble.
      We have to have a Brexit PM, otherwise, we can’t be assured of the credibility of decisions that are made. A Remainer PM will be too vulnerable to question, and it will effect their tenure. Not worth the risk. Otherwise, I sincerely hope John that you will have a prominent role in both the finances and the negotiation. No one can question your integrity and intellect. History has not delivered for you so far, but the time is nigh. “Cometh the hour…’
      The people are fed up with lies, back door deals and opportunism. I have never witnessed people so switched on to politics; which I believe is good for the long term future of this country if it is sustained. By sustaining engagement, we will hopefully keep home grown extreme views to a minimum, and not allow any kind of foothold.
      We also need to strive for a greater level of democracy to keep up the engagement. There needs to be some change here. It is the future. I would welcome looking at the Swiss system of referenda being used as a tool to allow democracy to live on during each calendar year.
      Cameron said the other day that the economy had never been so strong. This is at a macro level. At a micro level, the potential future Conservative voters (who are possibly Labour or UKIP now) are not feeling the benefits. With the division in Labour, there has never been a better time to make a difference to those that really need to feel that difference in improving their economic future and opportunities for their family.

  3. Sam Hodgson
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Well now, I am not a constituent of yours, but since I live and work in a safe Labour seat perhaps you will be kind enough to give me a hearing.

    I think the next PM should be someone with guts, grit, and belief both in their country and their fitness to deliver its freedom. They should have been in the thick of the campaign to leave the EU. Their hands, however, should be clean.

    I believe Andrea Leadsom alone passes that test.

  4. Crawford Macdonald
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Gove more a Mazaran than a Monarch
    Andrea Leadsom intelligent articulate committed, stands a good chance in the country against Teresa ( who many good qualities but a Remainer)

  5. Michael Petrie
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    In a past time I was hopeful for you or Michael Portillo, but this time, despite her having presided over discriminatory immigration policies (I have an Egyptian wife who I’m struggling to bring here), the only candidate with the gravitas necessary is Theresa May. All of the others except Stephen Crabb, of who I know nothing, should be part of the Brexit negotiating team.

  6. Dominic
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I am not a constituent of yours so please disregard this message if appropriate.

    In my view, our next Prime Minister should be someone who truly, passionately believes that our best days are ahead of us, outside the EU. I would argue that a candidate who, however qualified, was unable to stand up for their beliefs during the referendum campaign cannot possess the drive and vision that a Prime Minister will require in the inevitably difficult negotiations ahead. For this reason, I would rule out Theresa May and Stephen Crabb; whatever quiet belief they may have held in Brexit was not enough to inspire them to speak up for it.

    Of the remaining three candidates, I choose Andrea Leadsom. There has been a far greater outpouring of support from the public for Leadsom than any other candidate, which I would suggest is a result of her uncompromising message of optimism and belief in Britain that resonates so strongly with so many of us who voted Leave.

    Despite the intrigue of the last two days, Michael Gove could still, potentially, make a brilliant Chancellor or Foreign Secretary. I would even suggest that the next Government might appoint a Deputy Prime Minister to head its “Brexit Unit”, and he would do well in that position. But – as he himself has admitted – he is not the leader that Britain needs over the coming months and years.

    I do not believe that Liam Fox has the support that he would need to progress to the ultimate ballot, but I am sure he too will serve the Government honourably as we disentangle ourselves from the EU.

  7. Maurice Warburton
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a conservative but I do prefer to see a conservative government. I am also leave voter and respect you highly. The next PM must be from the leave side so that whittles it down to three. I think Mr Gove has shot himself in the vote and will lack credability. I’ve always respected Dr Fox although I was not really aware of AL. She was very impressive in the referendum campaign and looks like an interesting candidate. As much as I like Dr Fox I think the momentum is with AL and therefore she’s probably the wise choice. Whoever is elected I hope you’re in their government as you have a lot to offer. All the Best…

  8. Ian Johnstone
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Hello John

    Congrats on Brexit. Tremendous! We need a Fresh Start! We need someone to carry this through. We need an economic expert. We need someone who has integrity and vision. We need Andrea Landsom! I am convinced she can relate to those labour voters who voted brexit and feel betrayed by labour. They need leadership and a Northern Transport hub would make a huge difference to them and Leadsom has proposed this. She also proposes expansion of BOTH Heathrow and Gatwick. She will lead and others will follow!

  9. Phil Cunnington
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    I would prefer Andrea Leadsom. She is calm, professional, knowledgable and will get the job done. She also does not have enemies established in either side of the Tory party, so will offer an emollient option

  10. David Guthrie
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Andrea Leadsom for me John.

    Clear thinker, calm articulation and really knows what she is talking about – and more importantly, believes in it as well.

    She will be a formidable head of any team negotiating the terms of our exit – while implementing the changes required to enable the UK to take back control.

  11. Ann Tigerstedt
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Hi John

    I’m really pleased that you are gathering your constituents’ views on this, thank you for he opportunity.

    My thoughts are that Leadsom, Fox and Crabb do not have the experience that is required to lead us through the most challenging political negotiations of my lifetime. I like Crabb, and I think he has potential for the future, but he is not ready for the enormous challenge and stormy waters we face now.

    Of Gove and May, I believe that May has the political nouse and leadership attributes to get the best deal for the UK. I also believe that May has the ability to unite the country that is feeling emotionally divided between Remainers and Brexiteers. Gove will continue to alienate Remainers and what we need most at the moment is a unity leader who can speak to both sides and remind us to be proud of being an inclusive nation.

    • Tom
      Posted July 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more with Ann. Has to be Theresa May.

  12. Spinflight
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    None of the above so far..

    Is anyone else likely to throw their hats in the ring?

    It has to be a brexit supporter so Leadstrom’s candidacy seems most tempting, however she is a bit of an unknown quantity.

    If the leave lobby are wise they’ll pick their candidate and stick to them enmasse, otherwise you’ll end up with May who simply appears to be Camerons twin sister.

  13. Antisthenes
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I have already made my choice clear it was either Michael Gove(competent intelligent a bit wimpish though) or Andrea Leadsom (there is something of the Mrs T in her). I was more in favour of Gove although I am coming around more for Leadsom. Either I would be happy with. If not Leadsom then she should go to no 11. Not enamoured with Theresa May (rumour has it she is George Osborne’s puppet/proxy so may be continuity David Cameron) and glad Boris dropped out (he does not properly understand that which he speaks or is a fully committed leaver). I have heard a rumour(Guido Fawkes) that you are for Andrea.

  14. Pete
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Gove

  15. Brexiteers
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    When we see that the likes of Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine are backing Theresa May, we become increasingly nervous that Mrs May will renege on her promise to Brexit. It would be useful to know who you are backing, Mr Redwood, to enable us to come to a decision. We are coming to the conclusion that Andrea Leadsom is the only viable candidate who will ensure that we do actually Brexit.

    reply I am consulting to hear opinion amongst Wokingham Conservative members and the wider public. I want someone with a clear plan to get us out without undue delay if economic damage who believes that can be done. I have sent my plan to all 5 candidates

    • Nig L
      Posted July 3, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Agree totally albeit on the basis of the strength of JR’s views and I suspect, forensic knowledge of each candidate, I trust him to chose the candidate that will actually deliver.

      Peter Oborne filleted Theresa May deliciously in the Mail before the vote and now we can see on line the Telegraph’s article about her that sets out what has been apparent for many years, both her failings that far outweigh any successes that she has had and raised considerable question marks about her skills for her existing job, let alone PM. Not surprisingly it was pulled after pressure from her. We have also seen her backtrack on what I thought were key exit issues, Human Rights and Migration.

      From speaking to acquaintances post vote, no one has any confidence that real Brexit will be delivered. We have the spectre of a supposedly independent Civil Service, but in truth totally committed to Remain being tasked to negotiate with their European counterparts who equally wish us to stay.

      Add to that a PM who doesn’t want to leave and we will get the same Cameroonian claims of a massively successful negotiation with no substance that will be voted through the House because Remain Tories will ally with Labour and Scotland and you and your colleagues, however much you were supported at the Ballot Box, will be powerless.

  16. Dioclese
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    As I said on my blog the other day, I find it difficult to chose between May and Gove. Both I am sure would do an excellent job but having thought about it some more, I am convinced that I should throw my weight behind Andrea Leadsom.

    OK she’s an outsider but then again I remember that the same was true of David Cameron. Leadsom displayed a cool and clear head in the referendum debates and clearly has the qualities and background to be a good PM. Personally, I shall be campaigning for her but if she is knocked out, I still find it difficult to chose between the other two.

    As one of your other commenters said, if she fails to become leader Leadsom would make and excellent chancellor as, it must be said, would your good self…

  17. Mark
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I think we should bear in mind that the PM will not be the prime negotiator for most of the time – only being wheeled on for the big events. They have a country to run, and a cabinet to pick. The Europe (exit) minister is clearly a key appointment – but no less so are the ministers in those departments that face the world (FCO) or are intensely involved with Brussels regulation (DEFRA, DECC, Treasury, BIS). Despite my concern over Andrea Leadsom’s apparent conversion to the climate change cause which threatens to prevent us from having a competitive energy supply and hence a competitive economy, I think she is best placed to provide the positive outlook the country needs, and to choose an appropriate cabinet without handing out favours to those who might throw sand in the works.

  18. Deborah
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Andrea Leadsom gets my vote. She comes across as a decent, honest politician; she was very impressive in the TV debates, calm, intelligent and well-informed. And she is a passionate Brexiteer, aware of the challenges ahead and positive about our great country.
    Theresa May just hid behind the sofa after she declared as a Remainer and Gove is a back-stabber.
    Andrea is the best choice.

  19. Tad Davison
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Not a constituent, but I hope that won’t count against me.

    Definitely NOT a remainer under any circumstances! Otherwise, the Clarkes and the Heseltines will still have a foothold, and will be able to influence the future direction of the country. I blame Heseltine for fuelling and giving impetus to the ‘anybody but Boris’ campaign.

    And let us not forget that the last two Conservative Prime Ministers have gone out of office with their tail between their legs after being humiliatingly rejected, so we ought to consider that very closely. We don’t want more of yesterday’s men (or women). We want forward-looking people who can envisage a prosperous future outside the EU and actively work towards that goal.

    Of the others, Andrea Leadsom seems to be well liked and I concur, but that is perhaps a little unfair on Michael Gove or Liam Fox. Michael Gove has two proven attributes that are absolutely vital in any leader – firstly, the ability to lead! And secondly, utter ruthlessness when it is necessary to take a difficult decision.

    I believe Liam Fox has those abilities too, which is perhaps commensurate with a man from the medical profession.

    So it’s a difficult choice and the ground keeps shifting all the time, but I would be happy with any one of the three mentioned above.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  20. a-tracy
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    My doubts about Theresa May are:

    a) She can’t even remember her leadership speech continually having to look down at her notes, who wrote them for her? She didn’t seem to be speaking from conviction.
    b) she’s been in one of the highest profile, influential positions actually in government for years yet only 1-10 people I know knew her name – so not very effective.
    c) if Clarke, Osbornes Team, Hesletine etc support her you know she’ll capitulate to a weak leave position and I personally have no confidence in her to stand up to Junker or Merkel. What we simply must have is a out-but tied in position, paying all the bills with no say at all!
    d) it is important to me who you and someone like Boris think can garner the support and have the backbone for the leave.

    I also think Andrea needs to answer some of the detractors spikes against her tax avoidance that is mentioned on her Wikipedia page.

  21. Alan
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I would have supported Mr Gove, but how can we trust him now?
    We must have a committed outer with some personality and commitment. Only Andrea Leadsom meets these criteria.

  22. Rods
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I won’t comment on here as I’m in an adjacent constituency and will be emailing my local conservative MP with my thoughts.

    If you are a voter in another constituency with a conservative MP, I urge you to participate in the democratic process by letting them know who you think will make the best new PM, at this crucial time of Brexit negotiations.

  23. Michael Welby
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I believe that Theresa May represents a “safe pair of hands” that will both reassure our European allies and help unite Remainers and us Brexiteers. Her Achilles heel is, of course, her support for Remain. This is doubly important when you consider the hysterical bleating of the likes of Lord Heseltine and David Lammy who have only gone quiet and not away. I will be looking for the Brexiteer MP’s to hold the feet of the next PM, whoever it is, to the fire to ensure there is no backsliding and separation from Europe is made irreversible. If they can do this adequately I would select Mrs May. If not Andrea Leadsom

  24. Local Lad
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who is a Leaver: which rules out Mrs May.

  25. Ann Thomas
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood as I unable to attend the constituency Meeting I would like to nominate Andrea Leadsom as my Choice for PM. Andrea Leadsom is a Brexit supporter with a clear Vison of the Direction which the UK should take, not just for Present but for the future!

  26. alan jutson
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Now Gove has now shot himself in the foot, he has excluded himself from the mass of public support.

    Liam Fox always seems cool a calm, but his day has possibly passed.

    Mrs May worries me because of the large number of Remain Supporters she has supporting her campaign. Soames, Clarke, Heseltine, Soubry, Osbourne, etc.
    She looks like a safe pair of hands at first until you look at her record, Immigration failure, Border controls failure, safer in the EU stance for the Referendum.

    Andrea Leadsom seems to be gaining momentum, she came across well in the debates and was NOT a reluctant Leaver.
    She seems to have a sensible outlook on most things including, economy, finance and HS2, whilst she has limited political experience she is untainted goods and seems to go down well with all sections of the Public ,which is good news for the next General Election, thus she would be my choice.

    Yes I am a constituent.

  27. John Wilson
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Anyone but Gove! He did a poor job as education secretary, upset the teachers and displayed a profound ignorance of science,

    Ideally someone who can unite the country around a good exit from the EU, obtaining benefits for the UK and discarding as much of the EU red tape as possible.

    We need somneone who is a good negotiator, or who can engage soemone who to lead the negotians with the EU, so that we can get the best possible deal.

    I am resident of the Wokinham constituency.

  28. Martin
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The next PM must be someone who campaigned for Brexit.

    Theresa May showed no special competence as Home Secretary and presided over a massive surge of immigration.

    I am a resident of Wokingham.

  29. adams
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove for me . He is for OUT and we must have a PM who believes in that .
    Andrea is a good second choice but Gove has the superior brain and the determination to get what we want for Britain . The incompetent T May is not even worth considering and it depresses me that the Parliamentary Party thinks she is worth it . The groundswell in the Con Party seems to be heading to try and negate the Leave Vote . As usual John your Party does not represent the one nation your MP’s keep genuflecting about .

  30. Tom
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    It has to be May. We need leadership for the UK ASAP. Let’s have her in place within a week. The country is facing enormous difficulties, not least a serious loss in our international credibility. Investment in my part of the business world is being put off, moved or cancelled at the moment, given we “have no idea where the UK is going”? This is a difficult question to respond to. May has senior and significant experience of govt and politics too. Leadsom does not, and only in 2013 said Brexit would be a disaster for the UK. Why do people change their view so radically in the pursuit of power?? Dumb question, I know! Please let’s see some leadership from this government this week! It will also help expose Labour for the national disgrace they are.

  31. Dr James Thompson
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Leadsom. Has convictions, can communicate, good track record before Parliament, has knowledge of economic matters.

  32. Ken Moore
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    The money seems to be on Mrs May ..my view is she would be a disaster . Her carefully cultivated image does not match her record.
    People say that politicians ‘don’t listen’….those backing May are cocking a deaf ear to an electorate that wants a change of direction.

    We know the ‘modernising’ agenda has seen Con party membership drop substantially – It must also be in the party’s interest to point out that the ‘rubbing of traditional conservatives noses’ in diversity and fairness politics will only get worse under May.
    How much more evidence do we need that she isn’t a good potential leader?.

    We have had-
    -Massive asylum backlogs at the home office with claimants going ‘missing’.
    -Border patrol forces cut to the bone and beyond
    -Prisons at 111% of their rated capacity
    -Mass immigration from outside the EU consistently too high
    -The murder rate is up 11% at a time when police numbers have dropped 19,000

    Why hasn’t she more robustly been maintaining home office budgets ?

    A clean break is needed with a clear change of direction. Andrea Leadsom gets my vote I hope Mr Redwood backs the change that is needed.

  33. Ken Moore
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Much as a respect the members of the Wokingham Conservative association , I do hope Mr Redwood shows strong leadership and advocates not supporting Mrs May.

    Peter Hitchens in today’s Mail makes a convincing case :-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3671939/PETER-HITCHENS-voted-revolution-got-Blair-robot.html

    (sorry about the link)

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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