Andrea Leadsom, Conservative Leadership Candidate, Linked Unmarried Couples To Death Of Baby P

And six other things she has said
Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Conservative Party leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom once drew a link between unmarried couples and the death of Baby P.

In a blog post on her personal website in 2008, the energy minister said "solid, enduring adult relationships supported by the law" was the only way to "rectify the damage being done to thousands of childrens' lives".

"Marriage between two adults is the best way to raise children and defend our society," she said.

She added: "The self indulgence and carelessness of non-committed adult relationships is, as we've just seen in the extreme case of Baby P, proving fatal to the next generation."

In 2007, 17-month-old Peter Connelly died in Haringey, north London after suffering abuse. His mother, her boyfriend and a lodger who lived in the home were sent to prison.

Leadsom has emerged as the main pro-Brexit challenger to Theresa May for the leadership. She is seen as highly likely to make it onto the final ballot alongside the home secretary.

Her previous lower profile has led to people re-examining her previous statements and policy positions, including:

1. Wanted to abolish workers rights for smaller companies

Speaking in the Commons in 2012, Leadsom advocated abolishing worker’s rights for small companies in order to help them grow.

She said: "I envisage there being absolutely no regulation whatsoever—no minimum wage, no maternity or paternity rights, no unfair dismissal rights, no pension rights—for the smallest companies that are trying to get off the ground, in order to give them a chance. That would all change, however, as soon as the number of employees increased."

2. Questioned whether climate change was real

Leadsom was appointed a minister if the Department for Energy and Climate Change in May 2015. Upon taking up the role, she is said to have asked whether climate change existed.

"When I first came to this job one of my two questions was: ‘Is climate change real?’ and the other was ‘Is hydraulic fracturing safe?'," she is reported to have said.

Speaking to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Gas and Oil she added: "And on both of those questions I now am completely persuaded."

The five candidates for the Tory leadership as MPs prepare to cast the first ballots in the bitter contest, from left: Liam Fox, Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove.
The five candidates for the Tory leadership as MPs prepare to cast the first ballots in the bitter contest, from left: Liam Fox, Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove.
PA/PA Wire

3. Warned Brexit would be a 'disaster'

Leadsom shot to prominence after taking a leading role in the Brexit campaign. However she has not always been so convinced by the need for the UK to leave the EU.

In a recording of a 2013 speech obtained by the Mail on Sunday, Leadsom said: "I'm going to nail my colours to the mast here: I don’t think the UK should leave the EU. I think it would be a disaster for our economy and it would lead to a decade of economic and political uncertainty at a time when the tectonic plates of global success are moving."

Leadsom has since said she changed her mind on the merits of Brexit after being convinced by the evidence that it was the best option.

4. And said Brexit would have no immediate economic impact

In an interview with BuzzFeed during the referendum campaign, Leadsom, who spent her career before politics working in the City, said she did not think there would be "any economic issue" with voting to leave the EU.

"Sterling has really not moved since the prime minister announced the starting gun for the referendum. So my best expectation, with my 30 years of financial experience, is that there will not be an economic impact."

The long term economic impact, or benefit, of Brexit is not yet clear. However in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result the pound fell to levels not seen since 1985.

5. Was not a fan of gay adoption

In a 2009 blog post, Leadsom criticisied the adoption of two children by "a gay couple, who have been selected ahead of several heterosexual couples".


6. Too many retweets...

On Monday, Leadsom's campaign denied she had retweeted a tweet which claimed Britain was "overrun by foreigners".

A spokesman for Leadsom told The Huffington Post UK: "We have conducted a detailed investigation into the circumstances of this tweet. Andrea Leadsom did not retweet the message from @QueenBritain beginning 'I really doubt'.

"It appears that the message in question never existed, but was fabricated in some way. We are continuing to investigate how the impression was created that Andrea retweeted this message. We will not speculate about those circumstances."

The spokesman also today added the campaign was not suggesting Claire Phipps, the Guardian journalist who had tweeted the screengrab, had "any part in the fabrication of the message".