11 June 2019

Why I’m backing Andrea Leadsom

By Chris Heaton-Harris MP

Our country needs someone to take charge with decisive and compassionate leadership and the only person with those qualities is Andrea Leadsom.

I’ve known Andrea since we joined Parliament in 2010; we’re constituency neighbours, and she and I have worked together on many issues of common interest to our constituents.

No matter her role – as a constituency MP or as a government minister – she has proven her determination and her ability to get results.

As Leader of the House, Andrea brought about lasting positive change in the institutions of our democracy through proxy voting, and was a champion for those who had grave concerns about the way Parliament works as she pushed through the new Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

When she was Environment Secretary, she led the charge in ensuring we will be the first generation to leave our planet in a better state than we found it: introducing a national litter strategy; banning microbeads from toiletries; and taking billions of plastic bags out of circulation. She acted decisively to protect animals: stopping ivory sales; tackling the illegal wildlife trade; and tough new rules on puppy sales.

As Energy Minister she made sure we kept the lights on at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer whilst continuing to decarbonise the sector. Her focus on new nuclear and renewable energy created thousands of high-skilled jobs across the country and allowed businesses in the Clean Growth sector to flourish and innovate.

And there is nobody else running who understands the EU as much as Andrea does. Along with our colleague George Eustice, in 2011 Andrea and I founded the Fresh Start Project which looked at every aspect of our relationship with the EU and proposed fundamental reform. When it became clear the EU was unwilling and unable to reform in any meaningful way, Andrea became one of the most passionate and determined advocates for Leave – and we all remember her excellent performances on those debate stages during the 2016 referendum.

Today, in 2019, we have seen the impact of our failure to deliver on the result of that referendum, and our failure to leave the EU as we promised voters we would. Trust in politics and politicians is at an all-time low, and extremism on the fringes of both Left and Right is rising.

The clock is ticking and, if we are to have any hope of restoring the electorate’s faith in politics and in the Conservative Party, we must leave the EU on the 31st October, come what may.

For me, that means that the next leader of the Conservatives has to be somebody absolutely committed to delivering Brexit, with optimism and confidence, and it has to be somebody with a workable plan.

This is why Andrea is the candidate I trust to get us out of the EU as promised. Her clear three-step Managed Exit strategy is the only feasible plan on the table. You can read more on her website: teamleadsom.com

I agree with Andrea when she says that our future outside of the EU is incredibly bright as an independent globally-focused nation, but we can only realise this if our next leader and our next Prime Minister is someone like her who absolutely believes in leaving the EU and in honouring the result of the referendum.

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Christ Heaton-Harris is MP for Daventry