Borders MP John Lamont is backing UK Government foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt’s bid to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.
The 52-year-old Londoner, MP for South West Surrey, is one of 10 MPs so far vying to take over from prime minister Theresa May after she stands down on Friday, June 7, but there is still time for others to throw their hats into the ring.
The other current contenders are environment secretary Michael Gove, health secretary Matt Hancock, home secretary Sajid Javid, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former leader of the house Andrea Leadsom, housing minister Kit Malthouse, ex-work and pensions secretary Esther McVey, ex-Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and international development secretary Rory Stewart.
The selection process to decide Mrs May’s successor will begin early next month, and the winner is expected to be named late the month after.
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP Mr Lamont says he is backing Mr Hunt, a visitor to the Borders in March, as he agrees with his hopes of changing the European Union withdrawal agreement negotiated by Mrs May and believes he would be in favour of cutting taxes in a bid to boost businesses and the economy in general.
Mr Lamont, formerly MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, said: “During my time as an MP, I have become increasingly impressed with Jeremy Hunt.
“I believe he is the best candidate to bring our country together, which is why I will be backing him in the forthcoming leadership election.
“On Brexit, the foreign secretary is a pragmatist and shares my view. We need to respect the result of the 2016 referendum, but leaving with a deal remains the best option.
“Because the UK Parliament is not going to allow a no-deal Brexit, we have to go back to the EU with a sensible proposal to get the withdrawal agreement changed and to get this through Parliament.
“Having spoken to the foreign secretary at length, it is clear to me that he understands how devolution works, and he also has radical ideas to strengthen Scotland’s place in the UK and secure Scotland’s voice in the heart of the UK Government.
“He will bring a fresh and positive approach to how Scotland’s two governments work together.”