A Fylde coast MP has broken his silence on the party’s leadership battle – and savaged the man he was working alongside just weeks ago.
MP Ben Wallace, known as the ‘quiet man’ of Lancashire politics, broke cover to lambast a prominent minister and leadership contender .
The Wyre and North Preston MP, who is also a junior minister for Northern Ireland and a former Tory whip, openly criticised Justice Secretary Michael Gove’s leadership bid, following the Prime Minister’s announcement he would step down by October.
Mr Gove publicly denounced Boris Johnson last week, stating the former London Mayor was not fit to run the party, despite the fact he ran the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.
Now, Mr Wallace has intervened in the Conservative party’s leadership battle to claim Mr Gove too, is not fit for high office.
Proving his loyalty to his friend Mr Johnson, whose aborted leadership campaign Mr Wallace had been due to manage alongside Mr Gove, the Wyre MP savaged the latter’s record in an article for a national paper.
In an echo of how Gove spelled out his belief that Mr Johnson should not be PM, Mr Wallace attacked Mr Gove’s record. He said: “Governing is a serious business. It is not a game.”
He also said that with Mr Gove as Chief Whip: “the office leaked like a sieve.”
Now, Mr Wallace says he is waiting to hear what the other leadership candidates have to say, but his mood and that of his local Conservative association is tending towards supporting Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom, and he would be quizzing them on the single market.
He said:”We are a manufacturing, exporting county and we need access to markets.”
Fylde MP Mark Menzies says he is yet to choose between the candidates, while Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard says ~ he believes Liam Fox is the best man to lead the country.