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CN Briefing: Tory leadership; Boris and Gove; Heathrow



And we’re off: the Tory leadership race has begun.

For those of you who thought - perhaps like the man himself - that Boris Johnson had this in the bag, think again.

In a dramatic turn of events, BoJo pulled out of the race after his one-time ally Michael Gove announced that he would be running.

The political coverage that followed came thick and fast.

A tweet from the Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn sums up the mood: “A text arrives from a senior Team Boris figure: ‘Gove is a c*** who set this up from start’. This is going to be bloody.”

Meanwhile, a calm and Thatcher-esque Theresa May made her pitch.

“I grew up the daughter of a local vicar,” she began. “I’m not a showy politician, I don’t tour the television studios… I don’t often wear my heart on my sleeve, I just get on with the job in front of me,” she said to a room full of applause.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom announced she’d be running via Twitter, saying: ”Delighted to say I’m running for the @Conservatives Leadership. Let’s make the most of the Brexit opportunities! #FreshStart.”

And this all came well after work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb’s declaration yesterday. He was the first MP to formally declare his candidacy.

So which one of these candidates would be best for the construction industry?

For contractors and clients the focus is less on “who will get into power?” and more “how quickly will things start moving once they do?”

That said, everyone has a view… so for those of you who are interested in which way the candidates swing on the important issues, here’s a quick overview.

  • Michael Gove, 48, justice secretary and former secretary of state for education.

He led the charge on the major super prisons programme, which includes the construction of nine new prisons. He previously backed Heathrow, calling the airport “a good corporate citizen” in 2013. He also starred in the 1994 film ‘A Feast as Midnight’, where he played a chaplain in a boys boarding school. Don’t believe me?

  • Theresa May, 59, home secretary and former minister for women and equality.

May has been in post as home secretary for six years – the longest in history. She is best known for her tough stance on immigration and was accused of “ratcheting up the anti-EU sentiment” (despite backing the Remain campaign) after saying it was “impossible to build a cohesive society” where there is immigration.

Her constituency, Maidenhead, is next door to Heathrow.

  • Stephen Crabb, 43, work and pensions secretary and former secretary of state for Wales.

He was a big supporter of Crossrail when he was Welsh secretary, saying the project would make Wales “an even more attractive investment”.

He also (apparently) worked on construction sites across the UK when he was studying at Bristol uni.

  • Andrea Leadsom, 53, energy minster and former economic secretary to the Treasury.

She campaigned for the UK to leave the EU and has insisted that the result of the vote will not affect Hinkley Point C. 

  • OUT: Boris Johnson, 52, MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip and former London mayor.

The man behind: Boris bikes; Boris Island; and the Boris cable car (are you sensing a theme?)

He is strongly opposed to Heathrow.

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