Boris? Hunt? Gove? Fylde coast's Conservative MPs won't say who they are backing for Prime Minister

Mark Menzies and Paul Maynard
Mark Menzies and Paul Maynard
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Two of the three Conservative MP's on the Fylde coast are remaining coy about who they want to take over from Theresa May as leader of the party and Prime Minister.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies and Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard have yet to declare who they are backing in the leadership contest to replace Mrs May, who announced her resignation last month.

Mr Menzies said: "I’m currently attending the hustings, which have only just started, and speaking to all of the candidates individually to make sure we select someone who can not only deliver Brexit, but someone who will paint an energetic future for Great Britain in future."

Mr Maynard had previously backed Kit Malthouse, the Minister of State for Housing and Planning who pulled out of the race last week, and is understood to be evaluating the remaining candidates.

However Ben Wallace, the MP for Preston North and Wyre has declared he will be backing the former Mayor of London and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Mr Wallace spoke to BBC Radio 4's Today programme and said: "It's because of two things, I think he's a one-nation Tory, he does want to bring the country back together again and he definately reaches part of the country none of the other candidates do."

"And when it comes to Brexit he recognises, I think as many others, the biggest threat for my business, my constituents, is the lack of getting anything done and that's why whatever it is we do, we have to do it by the end of October 31, that's when I think the Europeans will lose patience and we have to deliver it."

Battle

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom, Matt Hancock, Esther McVey, Sajid Javid, Rory Stewart and Mark Harper all accrued enough support to enter the race to Number 10.

Under new rules each candidate needed the backing of eight MPs to stand in the race.

A series of secret ballots will be held over the course of several weeks in which Tory MPs will whittle the candidates down. They must win at least five per cent of the votes (17 MPs) in the first round and 10 per cent to make it through the second round.