MP Soames reveals who he is backing to be new Tory leader

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames has revealed who he is backing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced last week she would be resigning next month.

Since then a number of Conservative MPs have thrown their hat into the ring including Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove.

Sir Nicholas, who has been an MP since 1983, has backed Rory Stewart.

He said: “We need to come together as a party, and we need someone who can sort out Brexit, and restore pride, hope and confidence to Britain. That person is Rory Stewart.”

Mr Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border since 2010, is currently the Secretary of State for International Development.

Prior to his career in Parliament he served as an infantry officer before joining the UK diplomatic service, serving overseas in Jakarta, Montenegro and as the coalition deputy governor of two provinces in Southern Iraq.

While on leave he walked for nearly two years across Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal.

Mr Stewart’s campaign website says: “Rory is the only candidate who can bring the country together and win back the voters who left the Conservatives at the last general election.

“His vision for Britain’s future provides a strong counter to Jeremy Corbyn, who presents a real danger to our economy, our values and our country.”

The leadership contest is split into two stages.

Conservative MPs decide the shortlist, then ordinary party members will be balloted on the final two candidates.