SUNDAY’S European election results were to be expected. My party took a beating, and so did Labour, because we failed to deliver Brexit, writes Redditch MP Rachel Maclean.
The people of Redditch sent a clear message that they want Brexit delivered on or by October 31.
I can assure you that I remain committed to ensuring the UK leaves the EU, deal or no deal.
As divisions continue to grow over Brexit, clearly the next leader of the Conservative Party, and therefore our next Prime Minister, has a lot of work to do to unite our country.
They must reunite and bring on board those who voted remain so we can move forward, together, as one great country.
We MPs are fortunate to be able to choose from a large selection of able, talented candidates who have put their names forward.
But for me, we need someone who has campaigned for and supported Brexit from the very beginning, who will retain their belief in Brexit despite all the strong forces arrayed against it.
They must be able to command the trust of Leave voters.
I have always said that it is wrong in the Brexit debate to utterly disregard the views of the 48 per cent who voted remain.
While I passionately believe in democracy and have consistently voted to deliver Brexit while in Parliament, it’s evident to voters the divisions are becoming ever more entrenched.
And just as I as a local MP take on board people who didn’t vote for me, and my political opponents, so the new Prime Minister must be able to bridge the remain/leave divide, which is the new divide in British politics.
At this time of national and constitutional crisis, now is not the time for a newcomer to politics.
We need someone with significant Cabinet experience to grip the ship of state and steer it through Brexit responsibly.
“Finally, the candidate must be able to inspire and renew our domestic agenda and deliver the priorities that are important to voters.
Vitally important issues like the NHS, social care, our high streets, police, education and equipping young people to get on in life.
For me, for all those reasons above, there is only one candidate who fulfils all those criteria, which is why I’m backing Michael Gove to be the next Prime Minister.