Michael Howard backs Andrea Leadsom… as her supporters take to the streets
Lord Howard spoke out after Michael Gove's campaign chief was caught plotting via text message.
Conservative leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom has nabbed the support of a second ex-Tory leader, with Michael Howard becoming the latest convert to her cause.
Lord Howard followed in the footsteps of Iain Duncan Smith to back the energy minister, saying she was "best placed to lead our country into this exciting new future that we have in front of us outside the European Union".
Leadsom has also won the support of Margaret Thatcher’s former PR guru Tim Bell, who recently told TP: "Of the five candidates, she’s much more like I remember Mrs T when she was trying to become leader. She’s much more like her than any of the others are."
Speaking to the Today programme, Lord Howard insisted he was not worried about Leadsom’s relative lack of high level government experience.
"I don’t think the experience is hugely important. David Cameron had never been in government before he became prime minister," he said.
"She’s been in government, she’s in tune with the majority of people in this country … I think she would be an extremely good prime minister."
The latest endorsement for Leadsom came as he campaign manager Tim Loughton led a bizarre march through the streets during which supporters chanted:
"What do we want? Leadsom for leader! When do we want it? Now!"
Lord Howard's comments also came after Michael Gove’s campaign manager Nick Boles sent a text to fellow Tory MPs urging them not to back the energy minister. The text was then obtained by Times deputy political editor Sam Coates.
Lord Howard said that the text had confirmed his worst suspicions about Gove.
"I have a high regard for Michael, I think he was an extremely good education secretary but I’m afraid the events of last week made it very difficult, I’m afraid, to support him and they appear to have been compounded, I’m afraid, by the text."
Video by: Press Association / @singharj
Picture by: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images