MP Nick Gibb on who he is backing to be the next Conservative Party leader

Last week the MP stage of the Conservative Party’s leadership election was completed. There is now a choice of two candidates: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

Conservative leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss during Britain's Next Prime Minister: The ITV Debate (Photo by Jonathan Hordle / ITV via Getty Images)
Conservative leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss during Britain's Next Prime Minister: The ITV Debate (Photo by Jonathan Hordle / ITV via Getty Images)

Under the Conservative Party’s rules, it is now for party members to decide who should be the new leader of the Party. Whoever they choose will become our country’s Prime Minister.

Last week I declared my support for Rishi Sunak and I wanted to explain to readers of the Bognor Observer and Littlehampton Gazette why I believe he is the right person to be Prime Minister.

I’ve known Rishi since he was first elected; he is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have worked with in the House of Commons. I have huge respect for his intellect and ability to get things done but, most of all, for his character. He is honest, straightforward and consistent. He is someone whose word you can trust. He believes in this country and in creating genuine opportunity for all to succeed.

As he demonstrated as Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Covid crisis, he thinks very quickly and flexibly, putting in place the Furlough Scheme within days of the pandemic hitting our country. That swift action saved millions of businesses and jobs and ensured people had an income during lockdown.

He has also acted with speed to help people with the cost of fuel bills and the rising cost of living. Rishi is a true Conservative who believes in low taxes. He has already cut some taxes for working people and he will cut taxes again in the future – but he will do so responsibly, recognising the importance of tackling inflation, which causes such damage to living standards and to the economy. In this he echoes the approach of Mrs Thatcher. He’ll tackle inflation now and bring down taxes when it is safe to do so.

Rishi has been a consistent supporter of Brexit. He backed the Leave campaign and will make sure our economy benefits from the opportunities that Brexit brings. He is strong on law and order and on maintaining control of immigration.

I worked alongside Rishi when I was schools minister and I know his passion for ensuring that all children regardless of their background get the very best education. I have seen too the strength of his very personal commitment to the health service and to ensuring it delivers for patients.

Rishi is a team builder and brings people together. I believe that he is the candidate who gives the Conservatives the best chance of winning the next General Election. The polling evidence on this point is overwhelming.

This is now a decision for every member of the Conservative Party. I am confident that Rishi has what it takes to be a Prime Minister that the country can be proud of.