West Norfolk MP rules out bid for Tory leadership
A West Norfolk MP has ruled herself out of the race to become the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister.
Liz Truss, the chief secretary of the treasury, had been seen as a potential contender for the job, soon to be vacant following the announcement of Theresa May's resignation on Friday, albeit as an outsider.
But the South West Norfolk MP has now confirmed that she will not be standing.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, she said she did not want to prolong the contest and the new leader should be prepared to deliver Brexit, without a deal if necessary, on the new leaving date of October 31.
She said: "In order to command public trust we need someone who has backed Brexit from the start, because of the situation we're in now."
So far, Ms Truss has not indicated which candidate she will support in the upcoming election.
Eight candidates have so far declared their intention to run, including cabinet ministers Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Jeremy Hunt and Rory Stewart.
Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is seen as the favourite, while the ex-Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, who resigned last week, have also signalled their intention to stand, along with the former Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey.
But North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has given his backing to Mr Raab.
He said: "We need to jump a generation and he is the most able and impressive from the 2010 intake.
"He's the one who is most likely to be taken seriously in Brussels, whilst at the same time promoting an inspiring post-Brexit narrative."