Welsh Secretary becomes first cabinet member to switch support from Sunak to Truss
The Welsh Secretary has switched his support from Rishi Sunak to Liz Truss, as the latter looks increasingly likely to win the Conservative leadership contest and become the next Prime Minister.
Sir Robert Buckland, the MP for Swindon who was appointed Welsh Secretary when Simon Hart resigned last month, becomes the first cabinet member to switch from endorsing one of the final two candidates to the other.
Writing in the Telegraph, he said: “Liz understands the need to make supply-side reforms, unlocking the private sector that powers our economic growth through investment and providing high-skilled jobs, such as the ones I saw at Airbus in North Wales on my visit with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor on Thursday.”
He also hinted that it may be time for Rishi Sunak to concede so that they did not allow “what has been an overall positive contest for our party slide into more blue-on-blue as the weeks roll on”.
“It is time for positive politics, time to come together, and time for Liz to lead.”
Sir Robert wrote: “I know both candidates well and have worked with them in government and in Cabinet. At the outset of the contest, I wrote for The Telegraph outlining what my underlying approach to this contest would be.
“I have looked at ideas and principles first, and personalities second. During the parliamentary rounds, I backed Rishi Sunak as I felt that he was at that stage embodying what we needed.
“As the campaign has moved on, and as I have listened carefully to both candidates, I have thought deeply about the issues that move me and what I want to see the next prime minister doing. Changing your mind on an issue like this is not an easy thing to do, but I have decided that Liz Truss is the right person to take our country forward.”
He added that Liz Truss’s support for a British Bill of Rights was also a key reason to support her.
“We need to make these reforms truly effective by reviewing this proposed legislation,” he said. “Liz has pledged to address the specific concerns that I have raised about it; she wants to make the most of this Bill and to make sure that it works.”
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