Burnham-On-Sea MP James Heappey

Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey has revealed who he will be voting for in the Conservative Party’s leadership election.

The MP says he will be voting for Liz Truss, the current Foreign Secretary, who is among five politicians in the running to take over as Prime Minister from Boris Johnson.

Mr Heappey says: “I’ve decided to support Liz Truss to be our next Prime Minister. I’ve worked with Liz on some of the biggest Defence, Security & Foreign policy challenges we’ve faced in decades. She’s been fearless in making the right decisions. She makes the right decisions on big national security issues. A serious PM for serious times at home and abroad.”

Mr Heappey said in a Sky News interview on Thursday, below, that he wants fellow MPs to “stop tearing lumps out of each other” in the leadership battle.

“I’m sure you’ll find colleagues who after the rancour of the last few weeks are willing to go out and say that they don’t like this candidate for a certain reason, but I take the view that in two years’ time there is going to be a General Election where one of these candidates is going to be the Prime Minister.”

“I hate that our party has got itself into a place where we’re all falling out with each other all over the place.  What I’ve said is to all of the other candidates is that my support of Liz is based on what I see as her merits as a candidate, and not any criticism that I’m willing to share with you of any others.”

“So what is is this all about – taking lumps out of each other – because the party is going to suffer. We have got to stop, it has really, really, really got to stop. We’re making quite nuanced decisions about how somebody’s marginally better on a policy issue than they are on another one and how we’ve worked with this person and got on with them.”

“To the public at home there are really just hearing a sort of noise around the Conservative Party and I think we have to be really careful that the noise they are hearing is one of good policy ideas for our country, not tearing lumps out of each other and making this personal. I think the public will not judge as well if we do that.”

In Thursday’s second ballot in the Conservative leadership race, Rishi Sunak won the latest round of voting with 101 votes. Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt had 83 votes, while Foreign Secretary Liz Truss placed third with 64. Kemi Badenoch, the former equalities minister, and Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs committee, also remain in contention.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said this week that the Conservative Party is “in complete disarray” and is “totally dysfunctional”. Sir Keir said people are struggling to pay their bills while watching a “travelling circus of fighting” in the Tory party as it chooses a successor to Boris Johnson.

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