Last June, Andrew Bridgen MP went public about his desire for a new leader of the Conservative Party, citing a wide range of reasons for his belief that there should be a challenge to David Cameron’s leadership.
Now, he has written to the Prime Minister formally withdrawing his letter to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, and expressing his support for Cameron to lead us into the General Election.
No-one knows quite how many no confidence letters sit in Graham Brady’s safe, other than that it must be less than the 46 which would trigger a formal leadership challenge. There is certainly one fewer now.
With the economy ticking up and the General Election approaching – as well as perhaps a clearer idea of the damage a Miliband government would do to the nation – the number of MPs who want to see Cameron unseated appears to be on the ebb.
Here is the Bridgen letter in full:
‘Dear Prime Minister,
As you are well aware I wrote to the Chairman of the 1922 committee, Mr Graham Brady MP, in April last year requesting a leadership election.
Much has happened since I wrote that letter, you along with the Chancellor of the Exchequer have steered our country away from the worst economic catastrophe since the Second World War to a recovery characterised by economic growth, rising employment and falling inflation. This dramatic change in Britain’s fortunes would not have occurred without the long-term economic plan devised and implemented under your leadership.
A record number of apprenticeships are fuelling social mobility and tax cuts for the least well off mean we are tackling inequality. The commitment to a renegotiation of our relationship with the European Union and the promise of a referendum will also offer the people of our Country their first vote on Europe for 40 years. Furthermore, the triple lock for pensioners provides the best guarantee of a secure future that my retired constituents in North West Leicestershire have ever had.
Our Government’s committed effort to secure Britain’s long-term prosperity was epitomised in the recent Budget, which embedded further measures to secure long-term economic growth founded on sound Conservative principles. Thus, I have considered what I can do in the best interests of both my constituents and my country to contribute to the success of the Party and Government you lead. I have therefore concluded that the time has now come to withdraw my letter of no confidence.
As you know, there remain some issues and policy areas on which we do not agree, notably HS2 as I stand convinced that this project serves neither my constituent’s nor the country’s best interests. Nevertheless, it would be wrong for me to do anything that made the election of Mr Miliband as Prime Minister more likely, and the inevitably disastrous consequences this would entail for the nation I love.
Now as we face the General Election in 2015, I believe it is right for me to offer you my full and enthusiastic support in anticipation of the crucial campaign ahead of us and I do so without reservation.
Andrew Bridgen MP
Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire’