She's right on the economy, and has the unshakable resolve to get the necessary but difficult reforms through Whitehall. We face huge challenges, from the global economic crisis, to the war in Ukraine and the rise of a dangerous China. As a result, whoever takes the reins as prime minister faces perhaps some of the toughest decisions anyone to hold that office will have ever had to make in peacetime.
That person will need to arrive ready-made and that is why the choice my colleagues and I make in the next few days is so important. For that reason, I have chosen to support Liz Truss.
She is right on the economy. She recognises that as we get inflation under control we cannot allow growth to stall, putting us into stagflation. Without action, the highest tax burden since the 1940s combined with a rise in interest rates will mean not just those on low incomes but also the “squeezed middle” will struggle to make ends meet.
Liz Truss understands the human case for lowering the burden on people, freeing them to make their own choices. Dealing with the cost of living without destroying people's hopes and aspirations is critical and the party that is clear about that will win the trust of the British people. Only Liz Truss understands that getting the burden of costs down whilst helping the poorest will be the only way to deliver for the British people.
Experience will be vital as she enters Downing Street I’ve known Liz for a long time, even sat in Cabinet with her. It is from that experience that I know she has the unshakable resolve to get the necessary but difficult reforms through Whitehall to get our economy motoring.
Being in government and running a department teaches you how to get things done and as the longest-serving Cabinet minister, who worked in six departments across Whitehall, that experience will be vital as she enters Downing Street.
The Conservative Party is the party of Brexit. That means that as a government, regardless of how we originally voted, we must do all we can to deliver on Brexit.
Liz didn’t vote to leave but since then she has been at the forefront in government of those tasked with delivering Brexit. She has been committed to making the most of our new-found freedoms from the European Union. She struck dozens of new trade deals with major markets such as Australia and Japan. She has driven the legislation to fix the problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol, leading it through Whitehall and securing a significant majority of support in the House of Commons.
Having taken the decision to leave the European Union, we must take ruthless advantage of the freedoms available to us. I was one of those who produced a report Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform, (TIGRR) showing how our opportunity to change our EU governed regulations will open up new markets in the UK and drive growth. Liz has embraced those reforms.
In supporting us, she toughened the Government’s stance on China In one way, this is a little personal for me and my fellow Parliamentarians after we were sanctioned by the Chinese regime for calling them out over their brutality to the Uyghur, a Muslim minority in China. In supporting us, she toughened the Government’s stance on China and has made it clear that she believes China is guilty of genocide against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and now poses a clear and present danger to our friends in the Indo-Pacific region.
Standing by your word matters and she realised we owed it to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family to do everything to get her home. In securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori from Iran she has delivered on our commitment.
Liz Truss has shown herself already to be a stateswoman on the world stage, standing up to Vladimir Putin by working to hit his regime with the toughest sanctions possible. At home, she has also worked to sort the protocol on Northern Ireland out, ensuring Northern Ireland resumes its place as a full integral part of the UK, now through vital legislation, she is utterly committed to its passing. In the time available to us, it is vital we complete the task of transforming Britain into a nation of ambition, thriving and economically competitive.
The opportunities for the UK are huge. What is necessary is clear headed leadership. I am supporting Liz Truss because she is driven by a belief that for the UK post Brexit, the best is yet to be.