Our next leader will have to help Ukraine defeat Vladimir Putin, strike the delicate balance between stimulating sustainable economic growth while fighting runaway inflation, and addressing the priorities of the people: investing in public services, lowering taxes and freeing UK potential.
If the Conservative Party is to succeed and beat Labor in the next election, we will need a leader with an optimistic view of the future and a laser focus on delivery to win the trust of the British public.
Like many party members, this was not a contest I wanted. Although in the end I sadly concluded that Boris Johnson’s premiership had become untenable, he remains an extraordinary politician with a proud record of delivery that cannot easily be replaced.
I supported the leadership bid of Kemi Badenoch in the first rounds of voting in Westminster. She was brave and refreshing and promised to govern like a true conservative.
When she was eliminated, I voted for Liz Truss on the final ballot to determine which two candidates would pass for party members. Since then, I have taken a step back and listened to the two candidates.
Both love their country and would make a competent prime minister. But only one has a clear plan to help lower bills for families and businesses, lower taxes and grow our economy. And unless we get there and tackle the cost of living crisis, we won’t be able to win the next election.
So I firmly believe that Liz Truss is the best person to lead our party and our country.
Throughout her time in government, Liz has proven that she is tough and can deliver on her promises.
As foreign secretary, she stood against Vladimir Putin and fought the European Union to change the Northern Ireland protocol.
As trade secretary, she seized the opportunities of Brexit to sign new trade deals. And as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, she has demonstrated her commitment to low taxation and sound public finances.
Liz Truss has proven time and time again that she can get the job done and can be trusted to deliver the Conservative Party’s winning manifesto.
She has been clear throughout her campaign that her government will emphasize conservative values by cutting taxes and spending taxpayers’ money wisely: scrapping the National Insurance tax hike help restore voter confidence; reducing corporate tax and removing EU red tape will encourage businesses to invest and grow our economy; imposing a moratorium on green levies will reduce household energy bills; and increasing our defense spending to 3% of GDP will show Vladimir Putin that Britain will not back down.
It is a bold and optimistic program that I believe will unite our party and serve our country.
It is also a break from Treasury orthodoxy and the status quo approach, which I fear will see the Conservative Party lose the next election.
Because make no mistake, while Keir Starmer may be less radical than Jeremy Corbyn – the man he tried to make Prime Minister – his administration will undo Brexit, break up the UK and raise taxes permanently.
Starmer cannot form a government without the support of the Liberal Democrats or the SNP. Indeed, he will probably need both if he hopes to take the keys to number 10 in the next election.
The price of their cooperation will almost certainly be a change in the electoral system and a second independence referendum.
Proportional representation of the type favored by Liberal Democrats would usher in a permanent era of disconnected progressive coalitions and sever the local bond between MPs and their constituents. Under PR, politicians would be accountable first to their party and not to their constituents.
Allowing the SNP to dictate a second independence referendum would reopen old wounds and risk the end of the UK.
It would break Sturgeon’s unique promise and waste months, if not years, of constitutional debates instead of politicians focusing on the issues facing families and businesses.
When I cast my vote in the leadership election, I will be voting for the only candidate who can beat Starmer, Sturgeon and Davey in the next election.
Liz Truss is dependable, optimistic and determined to deliver – that’s why I support her and strongly believe the country will too in 2024.