Norfolk MP 'not supporting anyone' in Tory leadership race

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, who is about to volunteer for a week with the ambulance service.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, who is about to volunteer for a week with the ambulance service. - Credit: Supplied by Duncan Baker

Duncan Baker has declined to throw his support behind fellow Norfolk Tory Liz Truss in her bid to become the country's next prime minister. 

Mr Baker, MP for North Norfolk, had backed leadership candidate and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who was eliminated from the race on Wednesday after briefly becoming the bookmakers’ favourite.

And although Ms Truss, who represents South West Norfolk, has become the frontrunner ahead of former chancellor Rishi Sunak, she has failed to gain Mr Baker's support. 

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss - now the favourite to be the country's next prime minister - talks on the phone. 

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss - now the favourite to be the country's next prime minister - talks on the phone. - Credit: Liz Truss

He said: "I’m not supporting anyone at the moment. I’m embarking on my summer tour and will take stock of party members and constituents' views.

"Presently, from my campaigning in Erpingham there was lots of Conservative support for me but no clear front runner yet on who to back."

A YouGov poll of Tory members has put Ms Truss well ahead of Mr Sunak, by 62pc to 38pc.

The candidates are expected to take part in 12 hustings events, and the result of the contest should be announced on September 5.

So far, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith is the only Norwich MP to come out clearly in support of Ms Truss.

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Ms Smith said: “I think it will be excellent for Norfolk to have the next prime minister.

“Being a Norfolk colleague and a friend of Elizabeth, I’ve seen what’s she’s able to do."

Mr Baker's summer tour will involve visiting dozens of town and villages across the constituency over the coming weeks.

He is also planning to spend next week volunteering with the ambulance service to gain a better understanding of the issues it faces. 

Mr Baker said: "I am extremely grateful to East of England Ambulance Service Trust who have prepared a wide and varied programme where I will be able to see and support not just the ambulance crews, but work with Community First Responders, Norfolk Fire and Rescue, the Welfare Wagon as well as call handlers and dispatchers in multiple locations across Norfolk." 

Recently, Mr Baker volunteered for a week at Abbottswood Lodge Care Home in Swanton Abbott during Easter, and he plans to spend a further week working with fishermen and farmers in the autumn.