Tory party leadership race

John Lamont and Rachael Hamilton.
John Lamont and Rachael Hamilton.

Borders Conservative politicians are split on their choice of candidate in the party’s leadership contest.

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont pledged his support for Jeremy Hunt, even before the first vote. Now Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton has declared her full support to Michael Gove MP to become leader and Prime Minister.

The first ballot saw Boris Johnston garner 114 votes from Conservative MPs (the largest number of votes) followed closely by Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove.

Ms Hamilton said: “I’m backing Michael Gove because put simply, he will safeguard our union. His recent support on the podium at the Scottish Conservative Party Conference proved his loyalty to stopping indyref2.

“We know Michael Gove can stand up to Jeremy Corbyn, just look at his barnstorming speech at the despatch box in the House of Commons exposing Corbyn’s dismal record.

“Keeping Corbyn (assisted by Nicola Sturgeon) out of No 10 is essential and Gove is capable of stopping them.”

MP John Lamont declared his support for Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt before the contest officially started and hasn’t changed his mind.

“On Brexit, the Foreign Secretary is a pragmatist and shares my view,” said Mr Lamont. “We need to respect the result of the 2016 referendum but leaving with a deal remains the best option.