MP for Reading West Alok Sharma officially backed Theresa May in the upcoming Tory leadership contest.

In a speech yesterday to the Confederation of British Industry’s annual India banquet in London, Mr Sharma stressed the country needs a strong and competent Prime Minister who is internationally respected.

He said: “I believe serious times call for a serious candidate.

“The candidate with the most experience, most able to unite our country and steer us through some very choppy waters is Theresa May.

“She will command respect from Delhi to Dublin, from Brussels to Beijing. She will work tirelessly for Britain, as she has done every day over the past six years as Home Secretary.”

Meanwhile, Reading East MP Rob Wilson is for now staying silent on whom he wants to lead his party.

Nominations for leader of the Conservative Party closed at noon today and the eventual winner of the contest is expected to be chosen by September 9.

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