Sir Edward leigh MP: ‘I wanted PM to stay on’

Edward Leigh EMN-160205-145224001
Edward Leigh EMN-160205-145224001

Market Rasen MP Sir Edward Leigh has spoken of his sadness about Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to resign following the leave vote in last week’s EU referendum.

Sir Edward was among the Tory MP’s who did not back the PM’s calls to stay in the EU and campaigned for an out vote.

In West Lindsey, 33,847 people (61.8 per cent) voted to leave with 20,906 voting to remain.

Sir Edward admitted he and the PM ‘did not agree’ on everything’ but stressed he had wanted Mr Cameron to stay on, saying he had served with ‘dedication and honour.’

He said he would not be commenting on a potential successor.

Sir Edward said: “I am saddened by the Prime Minister’s decision.

“I wanted him to stay on and continue and he had the support of the party.

“He has served with dedication and honour. We certainly didn’t agree on everything, but he led the Party back into government and has played a strong role in repairing this country’s fortunes.

“I won’t say anything about who should succeed him but like most Conservative MPs I will be following the process closely and thinking about who will be the best person to reunite the country and keep us on the right track.”

Regarding the outcome of the referendum, Sir Edward added: “I am delighted by the result of the EU referendum and I’m proud that we’ve had such a strong result here in West Lindsey.

“I have worked for this referendum for twenty years, and more people voted Leave than for anything else in British history.

“The people have spoken, and the result is final. I’d like to thank the many volunteers from both campaigns who ensured such a vigorous debate and a high turnout.”

Sir Edward admitted there was a lot of hard work ahead before the UK reached an agreement to leave the EU but played down concerns the country’s economy will suffer.

He said: “Parliament now has a lot of work to do in ensuring that we come to an amicable agreement establishing the United Kingdom’s relationship outside the European Union.

“Already the economic signs are promising and certainly not the disaster that the Remain camp predicted, and I’m glad that many on the continent are calling for Britain to be given a good deal.

“For those of us here in Lincolnshire, I want to reassure them that change will be a slow and evolutionary process.

“We don’t expect to see any drastic differences in our everyday life, but withdrawing the from European Union in a calm and orderly fashion will allow us to preserve the best of what we’ve achieved together while returning the voter to the centre stage of British politics.

“And, Europe aside, there is still much else that requires seeing to. The consultation on a Mayor for Greater Lincolnshire has opened, and I hope residents of our county will take part in it.”