Morecambe MP now backing Theresa May after Stephen Crabb pulls out
The MP for Morecambe has switched his allegiance to Theresa May after his friend pulled out of the Tory leadership race.
David Morris will now back the Home Secretary in the second round of voting after Stephen Crabb withdrew from the battle to be Prime Minister.
Mr Crabb pulled out after coming fourth in the first round of balloting on Tuesday.
Thirty four MPs, including Mr Morris, voted for him.
Mrs May gained the most support with 165 votes, while Andrea Leadsom came second on 66. Michael Gove was third on 48 votes, and Liam Fox was automatically eliminated with 16 MPs supporting him.
Mrs May, Mrs Leadsom and Mr Gove are expected to go through to the second round of balloting on Thursday.
Mr Morris was the former Private Parliamentary Secretary to Mr Crabb when he was Secretary of State for Wales.
“I’m going to support Theresa now,” said Mr Morris.
“I’ve thought about it a lot and I think she is the only one who can bring the party together.
“I have spoken to Michael Gove and it was very amicable. I like him immeasurably but I’ve told him I’m supporting Theresa May. She has a proven track record.
“Yesterday we had a meeting after the Stephen Crabb announcement and we decided the best thing to do was to back somebody with experience who can unite the party.
“Stephen had a vision for the future and is well respected but my colleagues obviously thought it wasn’t his time.
“Andrea Leadsom is very nice but I don’t think she’s ready to be Prime Minister by a long shot.
“Michael Gove is the best we have for negotiating anything but that’s where his talents lie, not as leader of the country.”
Mr Morris said there were also fears within the Tory party that UKIP supporters are trying to join the Conservatives to vote for the pro-Brexit Mrs Leadsom.
“I asked Andrea at the Hustings on Monday if she had any UKIP links and she said she had none whatsoever,” said Mr Morris.
“What the Conservative party has done had block new members from having any right to vote in the leadership contest. You’ve got to be a member for three months before you can vote.”
Mr Morris also said Boris Johnson’s decision not to stand was the right one.
“I never thought Boris was up to it, Boris is Boris. He’s a showman and I couldn’t see him as Prime Minister.”
Mr Morris, who backed the Remain campaign during the EU Referendum, also said some Tories should “get over” the result in favour of leaving the European Union.
“Brexit is history, it’s been and gone. It’s now irrelevant. We’ve got to get on with running the country.”