Andrea Leadsom pulls out of Conservative leadership race

Home Secretary Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom (right)
Home Secretary Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom (right)

Andrea Leadsom has announced she is pulling out of the race to become Conservative leader.

In a statement outside her home Mrs Leadsom, who has come under heavy scrutiny since she announced her campaign to become leader, said she did not feel she had “sufficient support” to run a “string and stable” Government.

Mrs Leadsom said: “The referendum demonstrated a clear desire to change

“A nine-week leadership campaign at such a critical moment for our country is highly undesirable. Business needs certainty and strong government. It is also essential current EU workers know where they stand.

“We need a new Prime Minister in place as soon as possible.

“Theresa May carried over 60 per cent of support of the parliamentary party and she is ideally placed to implement Brexit on the best possible terms for Britain.

“After careful consideration, I do not believe I had sufficient support to lead a strong and stable government.

“I have concluded that the country’s best interest would be served by the immediate appointment of a strong and well supported Prime Minister.”

The MP, who was elected in 2010, faced criticism during the weekend after a story in The Times quoted her as saying she felt having children gave her a “greater stake” in the future of the country.

South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom sent her Conservative leadership rival Theresa May an apology after saying her motherhood gave her a “tangible stake” in the future Britain.

In an interview with The telegraph published today, Mrs Leadsom said she felt “under attack, under enormous pressure.”

Ms Leadsom said her words were taken out of context by the Times and even called on the broadsheet to retract the story.

Speaking outside of her constituency home on Saturday, Mrs Leadsom said: “I want to be crystal clear that everyone has an equal state in our society and in the future of our country. That is what I believe and it is what I have always believed.

“This campaign must at all times be principled and honourable.”