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Published: Wed, July 13, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

PM Hopeful Leadsom Offers Optimistic Vision of Brexit Economy


Conservative lawmakers chose Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom on Thursday to fight a runoff contest for leadership of Britain's governing party.

Cameron announced his resignation on June 24 after Britain's referendum decision to leave the European Union.

And she tried to neutralise the issue as she launched her leadership bid by saying she would not seek to overturn the result, declaring: 'Brexit is Brexit'. However, several senior party members have urged for the contest to be announced earlier due to the fallout of Britain's BREXIT vote and the need to begin European Union exit negotiations.

"She's been a Cabinet minister now for six years, I work with her every week in the National Security Council and I think she's got the experience and the determination now to pull the country together and to get us through this quite hard period".

The victor will replace David Cameron, who announced he would step down following last month's referendum for the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union. The victor will become the first woman to lead Britain since Margaret Thatcher, who governed from 1979 to 1990, transforming the country with her staunchly free-market policies.

"This vote shows that the Conservative Party can come together, and under my leadership it will", May told supporters shortly after the results were announced.

Gove meanwhile said that he is "naturally disappointed" to have to drop out of the running for prime minister, but praised the remaining contenders as "formidable politicians".

Leadsom said she was "absolutely delighted" with the outcome of the vote.

May, 59 years old, joined Parliament in 1997 and has been home secretary since 2010.

About two thirds of Tory members voted to leave, but a higher proportion saw a candidate's leadership credentials and vision for Britain as the most important factor, Professor Curtice said.

Anna Soubry, the business minister, told the Sunday Times that Leadsom's comments prove she "is not PM material" and called for her to "do us all a favour, including herself, and step aside".

Mrs Leadsom (53) is more junior in the Conservative pecking order but became the rallying point for pro-"Brexit" MPs after Boris Johnson threw in the towel.

"We need a bold, new, positive vision for the future of our country, a vision of a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few", she will say during a speech in Birmingham, according to extracts released in advance by her team.

'Theresa May got 60% of support from MPs so we know among the parliamentary party that she is the favourite.

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