Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham says new Conservative leader and prime minister Rishi Sunak has his 'total support'
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However, Mr Higginbotham, who was elected as Burnley’s first Tory MP for decades in 2019, drew criticism from constituents after his public backing of Mr Johnson, just weeks after he had called for him to resign.
In a statement sent to the Burnley Express today (Monday) Mr Higginbotham said: “My focus has always been backing Burnley and Padiham and getting government focus and investment in our area.
“As Chancellor, Rishi helped us get the Pioneer Place project off the ground, delivered more than £20m. through the Levelling Up Fund, and worked incredibly hard to ensure our businesses and jobs locally could get through Covid through schemes like furlough.
“Whilst I had hoped to see Boris put his name forward to stand, I respect his decision not to do so.
“Rishi has my total support in addressing the challenges ahead as Prime Minister of our incredible United Kingdom. And having spoken to him, I know he is as committed as I am to delivering on our manifesto promises and ensuring our borough is never again left behind like it was under the Labour Party.”
Mr Sunak was declared the new leader of the Conservative Party just after lunchtime today after the sole remaining challenger, Penny Mourdant, pulled out of the race.