MPs Pawsey and Wright back Crabb

Mr Pawsey says playing rugby with Stephen Crabb in the Commons and Lords team has added to his appreciation of Mr Crabb's abilities. NNL-160407-145215001
Mr Pawsey says playing rugby with Stephen Crabb in the Commons and Lords team has added to his appreciation of Mr Crabb's abilities. NNL-160407-145215001

MPs Mark Pawsey and Jeremy Wright have both thrown their weight behind Stephen Crabb to be the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister.

The Rugby MP has issued a detailed statement today, Monday, outlining his reasons, while his predecessor Mr Wright, now MP for Kenilworth and Southam and Attorney General, is Mr Crabb’s campaign manager.

The first round of voting takes place tomorrow, Tuesday.

Mr Pawsey’s statement reads: “The last couple of weeks have been historic in British politics.

“In a short space of time the political landscape has changed dramatically, and following David Cameron’s resignation, we now need a new Prime Minister with the determination, and vision, to forge a new path for our country.

“The recent EU referendum split the country and the fallout of our decision to leave the EU has pitched young against old, haves against have-nots and the recipients of the benefits of globalisation against those who feel they have been left behind.

“That is why we need a new leader who can unite our country; a leader who understands that we are one nation, who can inspire every generation and bring hope to those disadvantaged communities who feel that they do not have a voice and have for too long been ignored. When our country voted to leave the European Union it was a call to arms against politics as usual; not just a jolt to the system but a cry for something different, something new.

“That is why our country needs Stephen Crabb as the next Leader of the Conservative Party and as our new Prime Minister. Stephen is a true One Nation Conservative; someone who will roll up his sleeves and fight for everyone, every family, in our country.

“He is not only a safe pair of hands able to guide us through these uncertain times but someone who can shoulder the burden, the hopes and the expectations of a nation.

“I first met Stephen when we were both involved in Project Umubano, the Conservative Party’s Social Action Project, in Rwanda. This was a country still suffering from having been torn apart by war and the horrors of genocide, where deep divides split communities and some had lost faith and hope.

“During our time in Rwanda I was overwhelmed by Stephen’s compassion and his optimism. Despite the dark shadows still engulfing the country Stephen worked tirelessly to inspire those around him to help build a new, bright, future for the people of Rwanda. Our first-hand experiences in the country underpin our support for this Government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of our GDP on International Development; we know just how important this support is for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“Since being elected to Parliament in 2010 I have followed Stephen’s career with great interest. In recent years he has built up considerable leadership experience and now runs one of the biggest departments in Government. I have no doubt in his ability to lead our country but to do so with a fresh pair of eyes and with knowledge, compassion, optimism and empathy.

“I have also spent some time with Stephen on a rugby pitch. Stephen is a highly capable member of the Commons and Lords Rugby Team and someone who wants to win. When you play sport with someone, you get to know them well, and Stephen is a man you want on your side. I know that he will bring the determination, tenacity and optimism he has shown as a rugby player to the leadership of our country.

“Stephen is not your typical politician. Having escaped an abusive father he was raised by his mother in a council-house in Wales. Every day he of his life he has fought to build a better life for himself, and for his family, and he can instinctively connect, and empathise, with hard-working people across our country who strive to work hard and get on.

“As Prime Minister he will continue to fight for those who feel left behind or without a voice. He has a true vision for our country and knows that this is not a time to step back in any way on our decision to leave the European Union, but to move forward and grasp the opportunities that now lie in front of us.

“Now more than ever our country needs the kind of society that only a One Nation Conservative Government can deliver and a One Nation Conservative like Stephen embodies. I know that Stephen can unite our country and that his passion, determination, optimism and vision can deliver the change our nation has demanded as we build the foundations for a brighter future.