New: Harrogate MP votes in first round of PM election race

Harrogate's MP has voted today in the first round of the Tory Party leadership election which saw Rishi Sunak win the most votes with his nearest rival Penny Mordaunt not far behind.

By Graham Chalmers
Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 5:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 5:11 pm

The 1922 committee - the powerful representative committee of Conservative backbenchers - has set a date for the end of the Tory leadership to be decided of September 5.

Until then Boris Johnson will remain as caretaker Prime Minister.

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Harrogate & Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones praised Rishi Sunak for not only being a man of integrity but someone with the experience to tackle the big domestic and foreign problems of the age.

The contest to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister saw the candidates battle it out by secret ballot to pass the threshold with a further narrowing of the field to come in round two on Thursday, July 14.

Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat and Nadhim Zahawi had made it on to today's ballot after securing the required 20 nominations from Tory MPs.

A number of contenders had already dropped out by choice, including Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Foreign Office minister Rehman Chishti and Former Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

Today's result was:

Kemi Badenoch - 40

Suella Braverman - 32

Jeremy Hunt - 18

Penny Mordaunt - 67

Rishi Sunak - 88

Liz Truss - 50

Tom Tugendhat - 37

Nadhim Zahawi - 25

The result means both Hunt and Zahawi have been eliminated from the contest. The others are free to continue, if they wish.

Although the leadership race is determined by secret ballot, Mr Jones is on public record as supporting former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to be the next Prime Minister.

He described the MP for Richmond as not only as a man of integrity but someone with the experience to tackle the big domestic and foreign problems of the age.

Mr Jones said: "Because we face challenging times we need a Prime Minister who is strong and with proven economic ability and business credibility.

"The cost of living crisis has been brought about by a range of factors but the most noticeable impact in our everyday lives is inflation in everyday goods.

"Inflation is caused by an excess of demand over supply, and it was building up in the system.

"The economic aftermath of the pandemic was already causing big problems, but that has been tipped into a crisis by the invasion of Ukraine.

"We can see that with oil, gas and grain prices.

"So the new Prime Minister needs to look at those structural imbalances in our economy that make us susceptible to inflation.

" That means addressing our dependence on fossil fuels and boosting the productivity and capacity of the economy.

"While addressing these long-term structural problems he or she needs to protect those most affected by rapidly rising prices.

"This may be through the benefits system, through increasing the living wage, through education in how to lower personal and household costs or through a variety of other means.

"In the field of foreign affairs we need someone already known and respected on the international stage to keep the pressure on Russia to quit Ukraine."

Andrew Jones MP, a long-time critic of Boris Johnson's behaviour over Partygate, was one of 148 Conservative MPs to vote against his PM in a vote of confidence in the House of Commons in early June.

Earlier this week, he was voted onto the executive of the 1922 Committee by his fellow Tory MPs.

The front runners now left in the leadership contest are: former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt.

Conservative Party leadership contest timetable

Tuesday, July 12: Nominations to get on the ballot open, closing at 6pm.

Wednesday, July 13: First round of voting among Tory MPs.

Thursday, July 14:Likely date for second round of voting.

Monday, July 18: Likely date for third round of voting, if required.

Thursday, July 21: Deadline for deciding final two candidates.

Monday, September 5: Winner announced.