Victoria Atkins ‘will not be standing’ in Tory leadership race

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Louth & Horncastle’s MP, Victoria Atkins, has said she does not intend to stand for the leadership of the Conservative Party once Theresa May leaves office.

Ms Atkins confirmed her intentions during a head-to-head debate with a panel of her fellow party colleagues, at a Telegraph Live event hosted by the Daily Telegraph earlier this week.

On the panel alongside Ms Atkins was Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, Brexit Minister James Cleverly, former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

While none of the panelists confirmed they would be standing in the leadership race when Theresa May steps down, only Ms Atkins ruled it out entirely.

Ms Atkins said: “I will not be putting my hat in the ring for the next leadership election.”

She added: “For me, I think we have got to continue pushing the case for free market economics, and for making sure that capitalism spreads wealth and prosperity across society.”

Prime Minister Theresa May is widely expected to announce her departure in the next few weeks, following fierce pressure from within her own party over her handling of the Brexit process and, so far, her failure to win sufficient support to get her proposed Brexit deal over the line.