CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP CONTEST

I have consulted with constituents, Conservative members and Association Officers.  There was wide range of views, with support for most of the candidates. The largest number of favourable responses was for Andrea Leadsom, and I have decided to use my vote  to support her.

I have been impressed  by the work she did in the Vote Leave campaign. When she first entered Parliament in 2010 she set about defining the problems with our current relationship with the EU, and established the many areas in need of reform. She brought together the Fresh Start Group of MPs, largely from the 2010 intake. They worked together well under her guidance to produce a range of documents on EU issues. I was always doubtful myself that reform was possible, but I understood what they were trying to do.

When she saw the direction of travel of the modern  EU she worried about how feasible reform would be. The EU was clearly going in the direction of more central control and power when the UK wanted less. With the UK out of the Euro and out of Schengen it was becoming increasingly difficult to be within the wider decision making body.When she reviewed Mr Cameron’s lack of progress in getting any meaningful reform despite the threat of exit with a referendum she decided to campaign to leave. She showed herself to be someone who looks at the evidence and makes up her mind. Her choice was not a comfortable one for a rising Minister in a Remain government, but she took it nonetheless.

She has held senior business jobs before entering Parliament, and is now Minister of State at the Department of Energy. She has a  fresh and determined mind, with the qualities necessary to get us out of the EU quickly and with the minimum of disruption.

I have been asked to write  an article for  the Telegraph on Monday  morning which has not appeared in the paper and to be on the Victoria Derbyshire show to discuss the leadership.

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41 Comments

  1. Ian MacDonald
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    John

    I totally agree and will be doing the same, for very similar reasons. I’ve been impressed by Andrea during the Referendum campaign and TV debates in particular. I think we need a supporter of Leave as PM to ensure we exit on the best terms.

    I’m pleased to see how you arrived at your decision after consulting your party and constituents, I wish my own MP had done likewise, sadly not. He’s supporting Gove, quite why I can not understand after recent events.

    Thank you for your sage, steadfast advice and opinions which add much depth to Parliamentry and general political debates. I always look for your take on things when following political issues.

  2. Elliot Kane
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    If I were a Tory (As opposed to a floating voter), I’d be voting for Leadsom, too. By far the best of the remaining candidates, IMO.

    Good choice, John 🙂

    • Dave
      Posted July 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Stop being a floating voter then. Join us, the Conservatives and help shape our nation’s future.

  3. amelinixon
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Great. Why wasn’t this published proper to the referendum ? I am not a conservative and never will be but I know common sense when I see it. Shall retweet

  4. Ian Livermore
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    I am always impressed with John Redwood’s objectivity and have agreed with his views on many occasions. I am delighted that he is backing Abdeea Leadsom and will be voting for her myself if she makes the top two.

  5. Antisthenes
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    She appears to be very honest and competent. Not many politicians anywhere can boast that especially those of the left persuasion. Even those on the right cannot muster more than who are not. If she is made PM our country will be all the better for it. I do not think we can say the same for Theresa May.

  6. Frank Keefe
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Brilliant John..im a Ukipper but if Andrea Leadsom became pm I would vote in the next GE for her and im sure many other Ukippers would do the same giving the Torys a landslide victory…BUT vote in Theresa May and lose big time with UKIP winning many conservative seats

  7. Amanda
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    If the Telegraph do not publish your article Mr Redwood, would you please publish it here.

    It is unbelieveable, when the Country needs firm leadership, that there appear to be elements in the Government trying to undermine fair and free information on which to take decisions. I refer in this to the article in the Telegraph on Mrs May that was withdrawn from publication, but is available on other sites.

    In addition, it is now obvious that the BBC is fermenting discontent whilst slandering a vast number of the electorate. When the country is in a ‘delicate’ state are their no powers to curb their excess, and insist that they act impartially.

  8. Phil Crompton
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    As a disfranchised, former member, the selection of Andrea Leadsom as leader of the party would bring me back.

  9. Karen Haggerty
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Delighted Ms Leadsom has entered as she is by far the best candidate.

  10. MikeP
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Well done Mr Redwood, Andrea Ledsom is exactly the ‘Fresh Start’ that the country needs, not one of the old guard or someone who went into hiding during the referendum campaign to preserve her chances of becoming PM despite being an avowed Remainer and on whose watch we’ve seen immigration issues escalate.

  11. Tuberville
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Great choice John.

    Could not make this stuff up, the IMF as now said Brexit could be good for Europe. Juncker could be gone by the end of the week and the Polish PM as said Britain is the voice of reason.

  12. John Bracewell
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    JR, Please have a word with Jacob Rees-Mogg who is inexplicably supporting the self-confessed unsuitable contender Gove who has reduced the Leave contenders chances with his inappropriate and nasty behaviour. If Gove wanted to run, why not leave his colleagues to draw their own conclusions about Boris and simply stop supporting him but to then run himself when he has said and explained in detail why he is unsuited to be PM is just bizarre and unhinged behaviour, which makes Gove not PM material.

  13. Jackie Hulford
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Interesting news this morning regarding new legislation being made concerning triggering article50! I believe it was cowardly of Cameron to u-turn on leaving that task for his successor. We cannot wait too long to enact A50 otherwise it will potentially be thwarted, angering those who believe in a brighter future and be disloyal. Appreciate there is much to do but we do have up to two years to achieve stability and progress.

  14. Jamie Cross
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I think she will be a great choice for leader.

    The leader should be a leave campaigner, I think many those that voted for Brexit will feel cheated if it’s not. This is a very exciting time for politics and the country, Teresa May is a ‘safe’ move, we need to be bold going forward. The country and the Conservatives need someone who can unite them, I think Andrea Leadsom will appeal to UKIP voters, and Labour Brexiteers as well as many Conservatives. She has a much broader appeal than Michael Gove who is hated by many of those that voted to remain, especially the young.
    I also like her enthusiasm for Brexit, something I don’t see at all from Theresa May.

  15. Malcolm Jackson
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I last votted Conservative in 1980 for Lady Thatcher. If Andrea Leadsom becomes PM I shall be voting Conservative again. Great lady.

  16. John Heeley
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I am in agreement and she would be my leader of choice.

  17. Gail Johnston
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    This is important. We are going to need high-level support on our side of the party when the realignment comes.

  18. Posted July 4, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “With the EU out of the Euro and out of Schengen it was becoming increasingly difficult …” Typo surely. Should be “With the UK out of the Euro etc …”

  19. lojolondon
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    John, I am glad you chose Andrea, I totally agree with you.
    I remain very concerned about all the positive spin that is coming from the BBC, promoting Teresa May – Teresa is a proper establishment politician, who never said a word in favour of Brexit. If the BBC supports Teresa May, then that is enough of a reason for us to be suspicious of her motives and commitments, and to fear an establishment stitch-up – like Brexit-lite a-la-Norway, for example…

  20. Johnny Briton
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Good choice, John. She is the only REAL Brexit PM in waiting and the public can clearly see this.

  21. johnt
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I have a query in your argument in support of Mrs Leadsom. You say that she identified & prepared a portfolio of EU related problems & formed the “Fresh start group” to assist her in solving them. You had your doubts that they would be listened to but nevertheless understood & applauded her efforts. When she attempted to negotiate with EU principals, failure led her to believe that Brexit was the only solution.
    As PM, Mrs Leasom would have to, at least oversee, if not lead a team of negotiators against the same adversaries, so what makes you think she would perform better, & hasn’t she already shown flaws in her negotiating skills by taking an early position in the discussions on EU migrants already in this country?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 5, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      I disagree on showing of our hand with regard to EU citizens already here.

      It would be impossible to repatriate three million people and have negative effects so why negotiate from a weak position. Plug the wound it can not be undone.

      Additionally declaring that EU citizens can stay if they were working on 23 June 2016 reassures EU citizens in UK and throughout Europe and gives comfort to UK expats. Public opinion is a strong influencer in negotiations.

  22. Bob
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I think that is a sound decision Mr Redwood.

  23. debbie caplin
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I am not a Tory, but after listening to Andrea over the past few weeks believe she is the right person to take the Tory party forward. She is a lady who i think can be trusted and who the public can relate too. I would think if Theresa May was to become PM then then the conservatives would lose the next GE

  24. Viv
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Somglad the intelligent folk are backing her too! Maybe now people will stop calling me stupid!

  25. Adrian Smith
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    It seems May has the Telegraph and Mail on board. Ordinary Tories can smell a rat here – a stitch-up in the form of a Brexit-lite compromise with the EU to keep the Cameron faction happy. May must be stopped, it has to be Leadsom as leader.

  26. martin wood
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    The country needs strength, and a determination, that only a person with sensitivity can provide

  27. Dave Jones
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure that she has the adequate high level experience to cope with the challenges facing the new PM who will need to be strong, diplomatic and UK centric in future negotiations.

  28. Posted July 4, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Agree with your choice John. The Government must be lead by a positive Person who sees great opportunities in Brexit and not by someone who cowered in the trenches for the duration of the referendum and will only negotiate half heartedly with Brussels

  29. Posted July 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Typical stance Mr Redwood. Thank you for your objectivity and consultation with your constituency, I only wish other MP’s were of your quality.
    I am of the opinion there was no other motive than to choose the right candidate for the nation and the party – She is both practical and pragmatic with the best of intentions for the UK and I seriously hope you get a position in her administration.
    Thank you for being our MP

  30. Doctor Alan Cleary
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Your usual fair and sound reasoning, meticulously expressed!
    Thank you John

  31. Eleanor Davis
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I agree with many above. Andrea was impressive in the debates, brave to defy her PM, and holds her own in discussions.
    Mrs May sat on the fence. That disqualifies her.
    As a conservative voter I had threatened to vote UK. I could not vote for Mrs May , so watch this space.

    • Eleanor Davis
      Posted July 5, 2016 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      In above UK -UKIP

  32. Jason B
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I too would vote Leadsom and am also impressed with her conduct throughout the referendum debates. I am surprised she lacks sufficient backing at this stage as I think she would be better on the world stage than Theresa May.

  33. Derek Smith
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    May is pro Remain. If she wins the leadership and fails to produce a strong BREXIT result, the UKIP backlash against MPs who supported her is going to destroy The Tory party in the next GE.

    The challenges ahead are substantial and we need a leader who is fully committed to formulating a strong BREXIT and a positive attitude to a BREXIT future.

    MPs who want a successful BREXIT need to get behind Leadsom and MPs who want a future for the Tory Party also need to get behind Leadsom.

  34. Nico S
    Posted July 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    So just to be absolutely clear, The Telegraph pulled an article that would damage Theresa May and also wouldn’t publish your article praising Andrea Leadsom?

    I think we can safely say, their journalistic integrity is now laid bare for all to see.

  35. Rohit Amin
    Posted July 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this post John. I have always admired your calm assessment of the situation ref our place in the EU.

    As for the next Prime Minister, we need someone with the courage and vision to take this nation forward. Theresa May has neither. Andrea on the other hand has those qualities. Leadership does not require experience of government, one needs the right vision and a strategy to get there.

    I have always voted conservative, but I will be driven to vote UKIP if May becomes PM.

    Keep up the good work John.

  36. D. Hiseman
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The biased that the leave voters have had to put up with from the media, remainers etc. has really shown this government to be corrupt, if people feel this vote is rigged against Andrea Leadsom I am certain UKIP will be voted for in VERY LARGE NUMBERS at the next general election.

  37. Isaac Oloyede
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    CONGRATULATIONS – to our much-beloved Andrea Leadsom, and to the Courageous Team of MPs who stood solidly to uphold the people’s will. Hope our brilliant Priti Patel and intellectual Michael Gove will rejoin our beloved Bo-Jo under Andrea’s banner to resume championing the cause of the masses.

  38. Holmanny
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I have been utterly fed up with Cameron’s poor decision making, broken promises, and choice of friends. We NEED to divorce our government and the Conservative party from this sort of politics and have some straightforward open thinking. Andrea Leadsom seems to be the only candidate I’d vote for and Theresa May appears to be just a chip off the Cameron Block. QED.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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