Reading West MP backs Theresa May to be next PM
"I believe serious times call for a serious candidate," Alok Sharma says
THE MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma, is backing Home Secretary Theresa May to be the next Prime Minister.
In a turbulent week for British politics sparked by the UK voting to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would be stepping down from the premiership.
Mr Cameron said that a new leader should be in place before the Conservative Party conference in October.
Mrs May, the MP for Maidenhead, has been Home Secretary for six years and came out in support of Remain in the EU Referendum.
Mr Sharma, whose constituency includes Calcot; Pangbourne; Purley-on-Thames; Theale and Tilehurst, announced his support for Mrs May at the Confederation of British Industry's annual India banquet in London last night (Wednesday).
Mr Sharma said: "I believe serious times call for a serious candidate. Someone who is very experienced at the highest levels. Someone who is highly competent. Someone who will command respect on the international stage.
"Of course we have very many fine and able people in the Conservative Party whom will be putting themselves forward for the highest office. In my party people want to get onto the front bench, not get off it.
"I believe the candidate with the most experience, most able to unite our country and steer us through some very choppy waters is Theresa May, our Home Secretary.
"Theresa has very real experience from the private sector and fantastic experience at the very top of government. She will command respect from Delhi to Dublin, from Brussels to Beijing. And Theresa May will work tirelessly for our country, as she has done every day over the past six years as Home Secretary."
Mrs May announced that she would enter the leadership contest in today's Times.
Conservative MPs will stake their claim before the party's 1922 committee before going to a party vote.
Also contesting the leadership are Leave campaigner and Justice Secretary Micheal Gove, Department for Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, former Defence Secretary Liam Fox and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom.