PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson is backing Boris Johnson in the race to become leader of the Conservative Party and to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mr Stephenson, an under secretary in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said he along with many people in his constituency were frustrated that Brexit had not been delivered, and he believed Mr Johnson was the right person to lead the country out of Europe.

“Since the Prime Minister announced her decision to step down, lots of Pendle residents have been in touch with me asking who I would be backing as the next party leader,” he said, adding it was not a decision he took lightly.

“Not only are we choosing the next party leader but also the next Prime Minister. We need someone who can deliver on Brexit and ensure we meet our manifesto commitment to leave the European Union.

“I know many people are frustrated we have not yet left the EU and I share their frustration. As Boris said in his campaign launch video, now is the time to unite the country, deliver Brexit.”

Mr Stephenson added:“I worked with Boris for over a year while he was Foreign Secretary and I got to know him well and see his skills and attributes first-hand. I believe he is the right person to lead us out the EU and to continue the work of the last seven years, strengthening our economy, protecting our public services and creating a society where everyone has the chance to succeed.”

MP’s will start voting for the new leader on Thursday and will continue with ballots until two candidates remain. The final two will be put to the wider Conservative Party membership via a postal ballot.

Skipton MP and Government Chief Whip, Julian Smith, is yet to say who he will be backing.