Liam Fox Is Standing To Be Conservative Party Leader

Brexit supporter will launch his campaign tomorrow

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox will be standing to be leader of the Conservative Party, he revealed today.

Dr Fox was one of the leading figures in the Brexit campaign, and is seen as representing the Thatcherite wing of the Conservative Party.

He was forced to quit the Cabinet in 2011 after giving his friend Adam Werritty improper access to the Ministry of Defence.

It will be the second time Fox has stood for the Tory leadership, having come third in 2005 when David Cameron won the contest.

Speaking to Iain Dale on LBC Radio this afternoon, Fox said: “We can’t allow the Conservative leadership campaign to be dominated by the issues in the referendum, there are many other issues I care very passionately about.

“As a doctor I care a great deal about what happens to our health care in this country, as a former Defence Secretary I care about what happens to our armed forces and I think we need to paint an optimistic picture for our country.”

Fox also said he wanted to see a greater focus on meritocracy, as well as further support for those with mental health issues.

He described fellow Brexit campaigner – and likely leadership challenger – Boris Johnson as someone who brings “a great deal of energy and a great of intellectual firepower” to the Tories.

While both Johnson and Fox were Brexit campaigners, they are seen as appealing to different wings of the party.

Whereas Johnson describes himself as a 'One-nation Tory', Fox is much more of a classical liberal in the style of Margaret Thatcher.

Fox is the second Conservative MP to announce they are standing for the leadership following Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, who confirmed he was running this morning.

Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May are both expected to announce they are running tomorrow.

Nominations for the leadership close at 12noon tomorrow, and Tory MPs will then beginning holding ballots from next Tuesday until just two candidates remain.

The final two will then be put to the party membership, who will have the final say on who the next Prime Minister is.

The result will be announced on September 9.

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