Norfolk MPs tight lipped on leadership support

All eight of Norfolk's Conservative MPs

All eight of Norfolk's Conservative MPs - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

Three Norfolk Conservative MPs are keeping tight-lipped about who they are supporting to be the next prime minister. 

Members of the party will be asked to vote later this year on whether they want Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor of the exchequer, or Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, to lead the party.

Brandon Lewis, Duncan Baker and Jerome Mayhew have yet to declare who they will support in the leadership vote.

Mr Baker, MP for North Norfolk, had backed leadership candidate and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who was eliminated from the race last week.

The North Norfolk MP said he was not declaring who he was supporting at this stage.

For now, he said he would be listening to the candidates and taking the views of North Norfolk Conservative members.

He added: "What started as a race based on personality is now based on policy.

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"I will be looking at what will be best for north Norfolk."

Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, echoed Mr Baker's comments, saying there were "two strong candidates" and he was looking forward to seeing how the hustings develop over the summer.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis did not respond when contacted.

Richard Bacon, George Freeman, James Wild and Peter Aldous have all declared they will be supporting Mr Sunak.

Only Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has publicly declared she is supporting Ms Truss.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman initially said he would not be revealing his preference following the elimination of his preferred candidate, Penny Mordaunt.

However last Friday he shifted his support behind Mr Sunak.

Mr Bacon, the South Norfolk MP revealed his choice of candidate in a tweet on Friday - his first since June 2021.

Following a TV debate on Monday, Conservative votes said Truss had performed better - 47pc v 38pc for Sunak - according to polling by Opinium.

Ms Truss has been a Norfolk MP since 2010.

If she succeeds in the race she would be the second Norfolk-based prime minister after Robert Walpole in 1721. 

While Mr Walpole was born in Norfolk, Ms Truss was born in Oxfordshire.