COMPETENCE should be the primary criterion in selecting a Party Leader, especially a Prime Minister.
Both Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are in my view highly competent potential Prime Ministers. At a time when we are facing considerable economic instability as well as political instability, choosing someone who can restore both economic and political stability is also hugely important.
My conclusion has been that Rishi Sunak is the candidate who stands the best chance of restoring that vital stability and that is why he had my support and why I am pleased to see him confirmed as our next Prime Minister able to begin that work as soon as possible. Among all the turmoil of politics recently, it is also worth stepping back for a moment and recognising the significance of the appointment of the United Kingdom’s first non-white Prime Minister.
Some have argued there should be an early general election in light of the change in leadership. The United Kingdom is a Parliamentary democracy, not a Presidential one. Following the general election of December 2019, Members of Parliament of the governing party (the Conservative Party) were elected, such that there is a majority in the House of Commons. This remains the case. A change in the leader of the governing party does not trigger a general election and this has been the case under governments of successive political colours.
Stability is needed at the moment and a General Election would deliver the opposite.